This Crazy Futuristic App Can Tell You If You’re Going Out With A Sex Offender

she's probably using it right now

If you’re an avid Tinder user or an OkCupid enthusiast, there’s a new app that can help protect you from the possible dangerous consequences of meeting up with people IRL. NameTag uses facial recognition software to give you all the details on a potential date– including whether or not they’re a registered sex offender. It’s basically an anti-sexual assault Pokédex. The future is now.

So how does it work? Use your smart phone (or even Google Glass!) to snap a picture of your date, and NameTag will connect you with that person’s social media profiles, any public tagged photos of them on Facebook or Instagram, and information about whether they appear in the National Sex Offender Registry or other criminal databases. The app’s cofounder, Kevin Alan Tussy, discusses his vision to make online dating a safer space in a press release:

I believe that this will make online dating and offline social interactions much safer and give us a far better understanding of the people around us. It’s much easier to meet interesting new people when we can simply look at someone, see their Facebook, review their LinkedIn page, or maybe even see their dating site profile.

Hmm. On the one hand, this could be an invaluable tool for people who want confirmation that they’re meeting someone safe (and that they’re not being catfished), and on the other hand, this is kind of majorly creepy. I’m really put off by the idea of some rando at Wal-Mart taking pictures of me with their sci-fi space glasses and immediately being able to determine where I’m from and where I work. On the other other hand, that information is already available to anyone with a computer, so how is NameTag any creepier than Google?

According to Tussy, they’re currently working to make sure the app isn’t invasive to people who want more privacy:

People will soon be able to login to and choose whether or not they want their name and information displayed to others. It’s not about invading anyone’s privacy; it’s about connecting people that want to be connected. We will even allow users to have one profile that is seen during business hours and another that is only seen in social situations. NameTag can make the big, anonymous world we live in as friendly as a small town.

Nutso. Fascinating, promising, and nutso.

Via Time / Photo: Shutterstock

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    • Lindsey Conklin

      hahaha this is kind of cool, but super strange and incredibly invasive

    • Nancy

      1. Loved the Pokedex reference so much! 2. I don’t get it, if you can log in and hide your info then can’t sex offenders do that, too? If it’s not about invading privacy and is about connecting people, than surely a sex offender trying to connect with someone would block that information, right?

    • Enzo

      Wait until you find out they used your webcam to take the picture of you.

    • Katie

      Sheesh. I feel like this is the kind of think you go down in history for.

    • TheHeartographer

      Privacy policies that are opt-out are a little crazy. On the one hand, an app merely existing isn’t usually perceived as a valid notification of inclusion, regardless of whether that holds up legally. And on the flip side, being able to pop in and opt out means that sex offenders, etc. can just choose to not appear in the database, just like Lulu, etc. So the potential privacy violation is massive, and the potential safety benefit is essentially nil.

      If you truly want to practice safe online dating, there’s a lot more to it than just an app! (Don’t get me wrong; I’m totally buying the app. Just not relying on it, and not telling my online dating clients to rely on it.) For some detailed free safety advice, peruse and feel free to bug me if you have unanswered questions. Let’s all stay safe no matter how we date, eh?

    • watchesandmore

      This is great! You need to be smart to be safe….run a background check!