Utah lawmakers are considering a new bill, designed to improve the safety of online dating platforms. The bill, HB352, would require apps to warn users about the dangers of online dating. That includes encouraging safe practices and asking users to report when someone has committed a crime, like sexual assault.
“If I have one person that logs onto that dating website and they see those standards there, and they review them, we might save one person’s life,” Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City said.
Romero started working on the bill a number of years ago. She said she was approached two years ago by The Match Group, who own apps Tinder, Hinge, OKCupid and others, but they weren’t able to get something on the books then. However, this year, she was also approached by the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office on the same issue.
Darcy Goddard, Chief Policy Advisor at Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office, told the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee that the apps would also be required to send notifications to users who have been talking or in contact with fraudsters.
“And they’ve been banned from the website after engaging in some sort of fraudulent activity where they’re trying to get money from another user,” Goddard said.
Apps would also be required to ban users who are involved in criminal cases for crimes like fraud or sexual assaults.
Utah lawmakers gave the bill unanimous support in the House, with no votes against.