If you’re looking to get your swipe on while traveling and find a summer fling while on vacation, you’ll be happy to hear that Tinder is making it easier for LGBTQ international travelers to protect themselves on the app.
The app will now display a warning and give LGBTQ users the option to hide their profile when the app detects that they are inside one of the nearly 70 countries around the world with laws that criminalize sexual orientation or gender identity.
The new Traveler Alert will appear on-screen whenever a user opens Tinder in one of these unsafe locations and prompt the user to choose whether they want their profile hidden or visible. The updates will help users “take extra caution and … not unknowingly place themselves in danger for simply being themselves,” according to a press release from Tinder. Even if users decide to make themselves visible in that country, information about gender identity and sexual orientation will be hidden.
“We fundamentally believe that everyone should be able to love,” Elie Seidman, CEO of Tinder, told NBC News. “We serve all communities — no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation — and we are proud to offer features that help keep them safe.”
Tinder worked with the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) to determine where the alerts should appear. The list currently includes countries like South Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nigeria, The United Arab Emirates, and Egypt.
The update will hopefully help to protect queer users from instances where dating apps have been used to target LGBTQ people for violence, and is being lauded as a positive step forward.
“Tinder’s new security feature is a welcome step in safety-by-design. It utilizes design strategies — defaults, aesthetics, opt-in buttons — to protect users rather than collect data,” Ari Ezra Waldman, director of the Innovation Center for Law and Technology at New York Law School, told NBC News. “By automatically hiding a user or their sexual orientation, the app defaults to safety in hostile territories. It deploys a big red warning screen to get users’ attention. And it forces users to opt-in to more publicity about who they are.”