Back in 2012, an app called Friend Verifier was released that scanned Facebook profiles against the US national sex offender registry, to ensure that the friends people sent requests to/accepted on the platform were safe.
Once it analysed a profile, Friend Verifier gave a colour-coded result depending on how the person fared in the scan – yellow meaning there was a name match, orange meaning there was a name and location match, and red if there was a name, location and date of birth match.
As of May 2015, the tool had been used to scan over 13m Facebook accounts, but had to be shut down after Facebook changed its settings around how developers could access the social network.
And now, the people behind Friend Verifier have launched a brand new dating app, which uses similar technology to vet online daters.
CEO and founder Joe Penora explains that he came up with the idea for the app after one of his female friends wondered whether a man she was speaking to online had a criminal record.
So, Penora decided to set about creating a dating platform that could vet users based on their criminal histories, and called it Gatsby.
Penora said: “The online dating space is extremely cluttered. There seems to be a new dating app launched every month.
“Each new offering might have a different spin on online dating. Yet none have addressed the 800 pound gorilla in the room. User security should be the foremost concern and Gatsby addresses this head on.”
Gatsby is a swipe-based dating app that takes people’s profile information and compares it against billions of public data records to see if they have committed any kind of criminal or sexual offence.
Members can swipe through user profiles and if two people show a mutual interest in each other, they match and can begin talking within the app.
However, if the app’s algorithm detects that a user has a criminal record, they will be given a lifetime ban from Gatsby.
In addition to this, every month the platform will re-assess each user, to make sure they have no new convictions.
Penora said: “Gatsby is 5 years in the making. When we launched our first app Friend Verifier in 2012, we started the conversation. Now with Gatsby we are utilizing what we’ve learned.
“Creating a platform which will quickly become the industry standard for user security. Today we launch a safer way to meet people.”
To find out more about Gatsby please click here.