How the ODA came to be
The ODA was founded in 2013 when by a group of leading dating services decided to create a body that would allow the sector to work together on standards and speak as one voice with regulators, law enforcement agencies and others.
They also wanted to help people thinking about using dating services by signposting their shared commitment to be clear on their offer, to combat fake profiles and block fraudsters, to block children from services, to manage personal data responsibly and to give users practical advice on staying say online and when dating. The ODA member logo was and remains a mark of assurance for daters.
The standards were originally in the form of a Code of Practice. This helped change behaviours and build trust and confidence in services that were now being used by millions pretty much everywhere around the world. It was, however, a rule-based model that lacked flexibility and may have been a barrier to some services joining the effort. It was replaced in 2018 by an extensive package of advice and guidance for dating services that can be used globally.
This Standards Package based on advice and good practice guidance allows us to adapt in a fast-changing environment. It reflects our continuing shared commitment to daters having an enjoyable, successful and safe experience.
The ODA was first set up by businesses operating in the UK. The issues we and daters face online are, however, very much the same everywhere and our standards package and safety advice can be and is used in any market. Today our membership is international in nature with members and services across Europe, the US, the Far East and elsewhere. This a community we want to continue to grow – to reflect a sector that is now part of everyday life for millions.
Our Board is made up of volunteers who are representatives from member dating services who are elected by members. The board meets quarterly and is supported by the Executive.
Membership is available to services operating anywhere in the World. You can find out more about the benefits of being part of our global community here.