Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

Tinder is Working on a Panic Button for Dangerous Situations It can send emergency services straight to your location

By Rachel England Edited by Frances Dodds

This story originally appeared on Engadget

SIPA USA/PA Images via engadget

Tinder is taking more steps to beef up user safety, rolling out features that give daters the option to receive check-ins, hit a panic alarm and even call authorities to their location. Its parent company, Match, has taken a stake in a location tracking and personal safety app called Noonlight, Wall Street Journal reports, and plans to test the features in the US from the end of January.

If a date turns ugly, users will be able to trigger an alarm via the Noonight tool within the Tinder app. They'll then be instructed to enter a code. If they don't, they'll receive a text from one of Noonlight's dispatchers. If they don't respond to that message, Noonlight will call them, and if there's no answer, or the user confirms that they need help, Noonlight will get in touch with police.

To use the feature, daters will have to share their real-time location data with the app. Match says this information won't be used for marketing or anything else, nor will the information be shared with Match -- it's all handled by Noonlight. Users opting in to the feature will also be able to display a badge on their dating profiles, which -- the company hopes -- will act as a deterrent to any bad actors on the platform.

Of course, there's always the possibility that an alarm could be triggered by accident during a date that's going well, but the company says that's a risk it's willing to take. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Match group chief executive Mandy Ginsberg said, "The false positives, believe me, we took them into account. If someone doesn't respond, worst case someone shows up and knocks on the door. It's not the worst thing in the world."

The new feature follows a number of safety-centric tools on the platform. Last year it rolled out a traveler alert system to help protect LGBTQ users in countries that discriminate, and back in 2018 it launched a Bumble-esque "women talk first" function. However, when it comes to data security within the app itself, its reputation isn't so solid. A major security flaw in 2018 granted account access with just a phone number, while the same year saw the revelation that user photos were not being encrypted. More recently, a study showed that Tinder -- alongside a number of other dating apps -- had been playing it fast and loose with sensitive customer data.

Nonetheless, any features that can make the tumultuous world of online dating safer for its users are undoubtedly a welcome move. The Noonlight feature will be free for users in the US from the end of January, with Match Group planning on rolling it out to its other dating apps in the coming months.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Business News

Apple iPhone 7 Users May Be Owed a Slice of a $35 Million Settlement — Here's How to Claim Your Share

Previous (and current, no judgment) iPhone 7 users may be entitled to up to $349. The deadline to file a claim is June 3.

Business News

Here Are the Cheapest Online MBAs You Can Do From Your Couch, According to a New Report

No in-person interaction is necessary and most cost less than $10,000.

Starting a Business

Clinton Sparks Podcast: From Pepsi, Beats to Netflix — This Powerful CMO Shows How to Never Let Your Light Dim

Learn about the challenges high achievers face, the tenacity required to conquer self-doubt and the continuous pursuit of excellence.

Growing a Business

The Power of Networking — 5 Tips on Building Strategic Alliances for Business Growth

Who is on your side? Who has your back? It doesn't have to be lonely at the top. We look at five practical ways you can network to achieve the best for you and your business.


How Corporate Investment Helps Startups Deploy Technology Faster Than Ever

Financial resources, strategic alignment, access to expertise, market validation and operational support make this deployment possible.