What does Tinder’s latest scandal teach us about Identity Authentication?


Identity Authentication Technology

The past few days have brought to light another user exploitation issue related to social media in the form of underage users signing up for adult dating sites such as Tinder. The backlash faced by such websites for their lax age verification protocols and their sheer inability to check the actual age of their incoming users was no less than the criticism that Facebook had to face after Cambridge Analytica scandal or the public outcry when it was revealed that Google was collecting personal information of its users without their consent.

At the heart of this scandal lies the inability of large tech platforms that are not able to authenticate the true identity of their customers. This lack of innovation is the main reason why payment frauds and online account takeover holds the majority share in the forms of online scams.

Where did online sites go wrong?

It is not hard to determine why such a scandal took place and what were the reasons why such platforms were misused by users who were not supposed to be utilizing such platforms.

The lack of understanding about the utility of features such as identity proofing and age verification was pointed out time and again by the professionals specializing in data privacy and digital user rights.

But apart from displaying notifications and age brackets on their registration forms, there was no serious step taken by these social media giants.

As a result of that, these platforms were exploited not only by underage users but was also used as a platform by adult users to find new pray for themselves.

Even if we put aside the ethical dilemma attached to such a scandal where underage users were left to be exploited by sexual delinquents, the regulatory negligence was criminal, to say the least.

Users that help these large tech companies to generate billions of dollars in valuation and funding rounds are always an afterthought for such companies.

Protecting the identity of such user or not letting them get exposed to unwanted elements is not as hard as these companies consider.

There are several identity authentication protocols that can be easily integrated in order to protect underage users from registering on age-restricted website portals.

What kind of Identity Authentication Works Best?

Well, the exact answer to this question varies according to the business industry and the users that are availing services from that industry. For example, age verification is the appropriate form of identity verification on social media platforms.

For the e-commerce industry, protection against stolen financial information is important to reduce cash back requests. This can be achieved by document verification validating the authenticity of the credit card used for purchasing online items.

For banking accounts and other platforms holding vital personal information of the customers, it is important to deter any attempt of account takeover as the recent digital frauds trend show that instead of using fake documents to open an account, fraudsters and scammers are taking over existing accounts to avail services on behalf of genuine customers.

A full proof identity verification check involving face verification and ID verification are the preferred methods to validate the claimed identity by an incoming user.

There are several identity verification services available that can enable tech giants in identity authentication.

With help of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms, the customer experience remains nearly frictionless during the entire verification process as it takes less than a few minutes to validate one’s personality with help of these 3rd party KYC (Know Your Customer) services provider.

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SaaS products such as Shufti Pro offer are particularly ideal for online businesses that want to offer their services to a global audience. It has the ability to verify the identity of a user with the help of face, ID, address, handwritten note and documents in over 230 countries.

So all it will take to protect the user interests by these tech giants is Intent and initiative because the necessary tools to perform identity authentication are already available.

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