Putting safety first in online dating has never mattered more

Giving dating service users a great and safe experience has never been more important.

Currently, the Online Dating Association (ODA), as the authority representing the dating industry, is:

  1. Expanding its membership and welcoming safety businesses as a resource for apps and services
  2. Reviewing trends and innovation during the Coronavirus pandemic
  3. Testing public opinion through survey activity
  4. Reminding all that its recognised Framework for User Safety, and its safety advice and guidance is available and free for use by all dating businesses as well as law enforcement communities, banks, charities and others.

An ODA review is planned, exploring media reporting and feedback from the sector on trends and innovation in the use of online dating at a time when people are in different forms of lockdown and cannot meet in person. A report on this, alongside results of the first independent survey testing public opinion will be published in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, the ODA has added to its team of dating service partners focused on user safety. Recently Spectrum Labs and UrSafe joined Scamalytics as ODA Associates, providing services with ways to maximise user safety and the means to deliver against the international framework for user safety. Each company brings tools to protect daters from harms by moderating behaviours online and removing those whose behaviours are toxic to others.

George Kidd, ODA Chief Executive said:

“Dating apps and services are the single largest generator of new relationships based on friendships, romance or fun. That matters in times of such uncertainty and worry for all. The safeguards mentioned are forms of assurance underpinning services that work hard to give millions and millions of people a great and safe experience on apps and online.

“With people spending more time online rather than meeting in person it has never been more important for services to ensure safety standards and user support is strong and for users to be given the advice and guidance and options to minimise their risk online – and when meeting in person, when that again becomes a real option.”

The ODA, as a not for profit trade body focused on standards, has built relationships with law enforcement and regulatory agencies and has appreciated their support and recognition of the Framework for User Safety and Model Code of User Conduct it launched in January 2020. This was shared with anti-fraud banking sector associations in the US and UK, with the Federal Trade Commission and with safety focussed charities on both sides of the Atlantic.

The material is free for all to use. Those who are members of the Association also display our “ODA Member Putting Safety First” logo as a sign to users of their commitment to standards in the sector. This is a sign law enforcers and others encourage users to seek out when deciding on which services they might use.

For more information: info@onlinedatingassociation.org.uk


The ODA was set up in 2014 to develop and maintain standards that give users assurance and ensure businesses trade responsibly. It seeks also to inform policy makers and to promote messages to users that minimise the risk of harm.

The Safety First campaign materials can be seen here:

Campaign framework

More information about becoming a member of the ODA can be found here.

More information about becoming an ODA Associate can be found here.