You never really know what you’re getting yourself into anytime you log into an online dating site or app.
On one hand you could talk to someone wonderful that you end up dating. But you could also end up getting harassed or scammed, or potentially end up in real danger.
That’s where KATIA steps in. KATIA is a screening software that protects women using online dating websites and applications by helping them identify if they’re talking with a violent criminal. It searches national crime databases using men’s faces instead of their names.
The software was developed after 12 innocent females fell victim to abuse, either having been sexually assaulted, registered missing, or even killed after meeting strangers online.
KATIA works quite similar to Google’s reverse image search by matching a man’s profile picture with photos in a police database of rape suspects, perpetrators of domestic violence, and convicted sex offenders.
“Using facial recognition technology, KATIA can compare dating profile photos against mugshots of known sex offenders,” said Scott Drotar, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame andUniversity of Kansas and one of the scientists and R programmers behind the technology used in KATIA
KATIA’s extensive facial recognition software is compatible with low-resolution photos, pictures taken at different angles, or even photos taken up to 25 years apart. Users may also send in text from profiles or messages they’ve received from their potential dates.
The software will then identify and match faces (including geometric similarities like tissue and cheekbone structure) between professional law enforcement and prison mugshots stored on crime databases and the same person in a entirely different photo, like a social media or dating profile image.
The actual scanning process is completely confidential and anonymous, with quick results. Results of the screening are then emailed to the user and only cost $15.
“In only three hours, [KATIA] can gather information, analyze a message, and deliver the results straight to a woman’s inbox. This gives her information in real-time to prevent the harmful attacks of rapists and other sex offenders,” says Drotar.
The software has already helped a number of women from falling victim to strangers they’ve met online, but one has to wonder if it’ll really take off. Think about it: Who would agree to a date with someone when your follow-up move is to pay $15 to screen them for being a potential sex offender, rapist, murderer, or all three?
Indeed, there’s something to be said for the human screening process as well.