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Bill promoting online dating safety passes through Utah House of Representatives committee

A person holding up a smartphone with a dating app on the screen
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House Bill 18, a bill aiming to keep people safe on dating apps, has passed in the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Standing Committee.

The bill’s sponsor in the house, Rep. Angela Romero, wants to remind people to take extra safety steps when they are using dating apps due to the rise of sexual assaults in Utah and across the United States. Romero hopes that the bill provides users of dating apps resources that can help prevent them from being victims of sexual assault and violence.

Aimed to make it so that dating apps would have to disclose if they’ve done background checks on users, sending emails to all users if there is an account being suspected of catfishing, House Bill 18 is designed to decrease a user’s chances of meeting dangerous strangers when online.

Nicholeen Peck, president of the Worldwide Organization for Women, says that this idea gives sort of a feeling of consent, but several others still believe that people will still continue doing bad things, even if they’ve had a background check.

After passing the committee on Friday afternoon, the bill will head to the House floor and if passed, will go to the Senate.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.