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