The teams behind dating apps Tinder and Grinder could be in for a tough few months, as UK secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, Jeremy Wright, plans to investigate the pair over their age verification systems.

This as a Sunday Times (paywall) report revealed a number of allegations regarding child exploitation and sexual assault on the dating platforms. What is perhaps most worrying are the more than 30 instances of rape that have been reported as a result of meeting people via both apps.

Wright wants to know what tools Tinder and Grindr have in place to protect children in particular from harm. He also added that should either app fail to provide or illustrate effective measures, he plans to take further action.

What that entails, however, is unknown, as it’s unclear whether he has the power to ban the use of such apps, if it should come to that.

With both apps already utilising a mix of human and algorithm-based screening, there could be even stricter procedures put in place by the UK government, as Engadget points out, with the region already planning to roll out an age verification system for online pornographic material.

Whether the dating app developers would accept such a system remains to be seen, or indeed whether they actually have to.

Locally there have been some cases involving Tinder or Grindr for similar allegations, but there has been no intervention by government. This latest development in the UK could open up the need for greater scrutiny into both platforms, and dating apps in general.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]
When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.