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Dating app overhaul: Death of Dannielle Finlay-Jones sparks calls for stricter verification process

People looking for love should have to verify they are not a convicted criminal before they are allowed to use a dating app, a tech expert has claimed. 

Technology commentator and editor of EFTM, an online men’s magazine, Trevor Long said potential suitors should not have to fear for their lives when meeting up with a stranger.

‘Twitter has its verification ticks so why shouldn’t dating apps have authentication ticks to prove this person is who they say they are?’ he said.

The call comes as NSW Labor leader Chris Minns demands a ban on convicted offenders from all dating apps following the death of Dannielle Finlay-Jones, 31.

Ms Finlay-Jones was allegedly killed by Ashley Gaddie at her friend’s Cranebrook home, in Sydney’s west, after the pair met on Bumble.

Dating apps have been called on to tighten security measures and keep a record of the online conversations in case they need to be used for evidence, while the federal government has been urged to introduce a domestic violence register.

People looking for love should have to verify they are not a convicted criminal before they are allowed to use a dating app, a tech expert has claimed (stock image)

The call comes as NSW Labor leader Chris Minns demands a ban on convicted offenders from all dating apps following the death of Dannielle Finlay-Jones, 31

The call comes as NSW Labor leader Chris Minns demands a ban on convicted offenders from all dating apps following the death of Dannielle Finlay-Jones, 31

Mr Long said dating apps had a responsibility to protect their subscribers and had fallen behind other industries that had identity checks. 

‘If you want to get a job working for children you need to get a working with children’s check,’ he said. 

‘I recently signed up to a pre-paid mobile phone plan and handed over my driver’s licence and card number. 

‘I assume the company made an autonomous inquiry on my behalf before approving my plan. This stuff is not hard, change can be implemented within months.’

Mr Long said dating apps could ask users to submit their digital ID, driver’s licence or passport on sign-up.

The information could then be used by the company to do a quick background check on the user.

Ms Finlay-Jones was allegedly killed by Ashley Gaddie at her friend's Cranebrook home, in Sydney's west, after the pair met on Bumble

Ms Finlay-Jones was allegedly killed by Ashley Gaddie at her friend’s Cranebrook home, in Sydney’s west, after the pair met on Bumble

Mr Long said dating apps had a responsibility to protect their subscribers and had fallen behind other industries that had identity checks

Mr Long said dating apps had a responsibility to protect their subscribers and had fallen behind other industries that had identity checks

‘Every state already has our identity stored,’ he said. ‘That information could be verified without the dating app having to save or retain any private information.

‘All it does is verify with a government authority that you are who you say you are. There is no invasion of privacy.’

Full Stop CEO Hayley Foster suggested dating apps go a step further and keep conversations on record in case they needed to be used as evidence.

‘I spoke to a survivor yesterday who had been assaulted by somebody [she met] on an app,’ she said.

‘When she went to have the matter investigated by police, the conversation had vanished because they had unmatched.

‘People using sexual predatory behaviours are getting away scot-free by closing their accounts and going about their business.’ 

Ms Foster called for the federal government to introduce a domestic violence register to improve safety in the dating community.

Full Stop CEO Hayley Foster suggested dating apps go a step further and keep conversations on record in case they needed to be used as evidence

Full Stop CEO Hayley Foster suggested dating apps go a step further and keep conversations on record in case they needed to be used as evidence

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and his government are pushing for reforms to tighten security measures on dating apps

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and his government are pushing for reforms to tighten security measures on dating apps

‘We are frustrated to see women and children in particular are being harassed and killed by people who were known to be dangerous and violent criminals,’ she said.

‘Someone who has used violence or abuse against a former partner, is likely to use that in the future.’

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and his government are pushing for reforms to tighten security measures on dating apps.

Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor has demanded the federal government take ‘urgent action to address the issue of women’s safety on dating apps’. 

Ms Taylor wrote her demands in a letter addressed to federal Communications Minister Michelle Rowland. 

‘This is not the first time a tragedy of this nature has (allegedly) occurred,’ Ms Taylor wrote.

‘I note there have been extensive calls from peak bodies for reforms that improve safety and strengthen protections for users of dating apps.

‘We have an obligation to do everything in our power to ensure tragedies like this never happen again, and the NSW Government is taking action now.

A Bumble spokesman said the organisation was 'devastated' by the recent death of Ms Finlay-Jones

A Bumble spokesman said the organisation was ‘devastated’ by the recent death of Ms Finlay-Jones

‘Effective action will require a national response, led by the Federal Government, supported by the states and territories, and put into action by dating app businesses.

‘That is why I am seeking your support and leadership without delay.

‘NSW is willing to take the important first step, however we cannot do it alone.’

A Bumble spokesman said the organisation was ‘devastated’ by the recent death of Ms Finlay-Jones.

‘The safety of our community is our priority and we will continue to work day in and day out to keep our members safe,’ he said.

‘We have a dedicated team who stands ready to assist in any active investigations and a law enforcement portal to facilitate access to data for investigative purposes.

‘We are engaged with law enforcement and supporting the investigation.’

Anyone who has been the victim of domestic violence or knows someone who has been impacted is encouraged to contact Full Stop on 1800 385 578. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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