Internet dating safety law
Last month, New Jersey became the first state to enact a law requiring the sites to disclose whether they perform background checks.
- the only large online dating service that already does such screenings - was elated by its successful lobbying and hopes other states will follow suit."The online dating industry tends to get a real bad rap, because of criminal activity," said True.com's founder and chief executive, Herb Vest.
However, Vest's many critics in the industry say he is acting mostly out of self-interest.
They contend that True.com's screening method - running names through state databases of criminal records is incomplete and too easily thwarted, potentially creating a false sense of security for customers."It's so superficial that it's worthless," said Braden Cox, policy counsel with Net Choice, a coalition of e-commerce companies that includes Yahoo, AOL and other major players in online dating.
Consider the number of marriages ending because one of the parties just met their one true love on Yahoo Personals.
The biggest problem with Internet dating is the snake oil. But a new crop of suits are being pressed by disgruntled customers angry not about false claims by third parties, but about false third parties allegedly created by the companies themselves.
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While the majority of these people are just curious about past relationships and other relevant dating information, many seek out more details about their potential dates to screen for criminal offenses or court appearances.There is, for starters, the guy in Atlantic City who just pleaded guilty to 10 counts of wire fraud for scamming women around the country with fake Internet profiles. Lawsuits against Internet dating sites for false statements made by other customers have mostly gone nowhere, in part because Congress more or less immunized such Web sites from suit with the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which says the providers can't be held liable for the lies of third parties. is defending a lawsuit over "date bait"—creating fake flirty e-mails to keep paying customers from canceling their accounts, as well as allegedly sending actual employees on dates to pose as members.He'd tell women he met online that he needed money to move to their area, then spend it at the roulette table. And Yahoo Personals is defending a class-action suit for allegedly creating phony profiles to "generate interest, public trust and give the site a much more attractive and functional appearance." Both companies deny any wrongdoing.In this case, users can review public information made available by local government offices or conduct full criminal background checks with services like to find out if their date can be trusted.Some online dating platforms like e Harmony.com, and Sparks Networks (operator of JDate and Christian Mingle) have even begun scanning clients for instances of sexual assault, identity theft, and violence since 2012.
Dating Blogging Social Networking Chat, Discussion Boards, and Forums Quizzes and Surveys The Internet provides rich opportunities for making new friends, finding romance, and sharing interests with others.