There’s no evidence to suggest that granting police access to sexual assault reports will increase users’ safety on dating apps, or even help them feel safer. Research has demonstrated users often don’t report harassment and abuse to dating apps or law enforcement.NSW Police want access to Tinder’s sexual assault data. Cybersafety experts explain why it’s a date with disaster (theconversation.com)
Consider NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller’s misguided “consent app” proposal last month; this is just one of many reasons sexual assault survivors may not want to contact police after an incident. And if police can access personal data, this may deter users from reporting sexual assault.
With high attrition rates, low conviction rates and the prospect of being retraumatised in court, the criminal legal system often fails to deliver justice to sexual assault survivors. Automated referrals to police will only further deny survivors their agency.
Moreover, the proposed partnership with law enforcement sits within a broader project of escalating police surveillance fuelled by platform-verification processes. Tech companies offer police forces a goldmine of data. The needs and experiences of users are rarely the focus of such partnerships.