New safety regulations for online dating platforms have come into effect in Utah yesterday. House Bill 18 encourages dating apps to provide greater transparency about their safety measures and the singles on their platforms.
The new policy, which came into effect on the first day of 2024, outlines a number of requirements placed upon dating platforms in the state. These include:
-Disclosing the extent of a dating platform’s background check capabilities, informing users of whether the platform has vetted the criminal history of its members.
-Providing users with a safety pop-up which is “reasonably designed to increase awareness of safer online dating practices and clear guidelines and resources for reporting crimes committed by an online dating service member”. The regulation outlines some safety tips that platforms should mention, for example encouraging singles to go on dates in public places.
-Users who have sent or received a message from a banned fraudulent account need to be notified by the dating platform.
When it comes to the enforcement of these new policies, local authorities may investigate a dating platform as a result of a criminal case of sexual assault or fraud perpetrated against a Utah citizen as a result of online dating.
The punishment that could be levied against dating platforms in breach of these new rules is “a civil penalty not to exceed $250 for each Utah member at the time of the violation”, as well as “filing fees and reasonable attorney fees”.
Rep. Angela Romero of Utah’s House of Representatives sponsored this new regulation, teliing KUTV that “If I save one person’s life, or if I prevent someone from being sexually assaulted, then I’ve done my job as an elected official”.