The Illinois Senate has passed legislation – Senate Bill 2545 (SB 2545) – that would create the ‘Internet Dating Safety Act’ requiring online dating websites offering services in Illinois to clearly disclose if they perform criminal background checks on members, according to a press release on the website of the bill’s sponsor Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago). SB 2545, which passed in the Senate 42 to 9, will next move to the House, where a similar bill has won committee approval. The full text of SB 2545 is available here. Continue reading
Match.com has settled a lawsuit with a woman who sued the popular online dating site after she was raped by a fellow member she was linked up with for a date by pledging to perform background checks on all current and future members in order to screen out sex offenders, the Los Angeles Times reports. The woman’s assailant – who had at least six previous sexual assault convictions before the attack on her – has pleaded no contest to sexual battery and faces a year in jail and five years’ probation. Continue reading
In the wake of a recent story about a woman who sued Match.com over an alleged assault by one of its members and the subsequent decision by the popular online dating service to conduct background checks on potential members, the CEO of Matches That Matter – a social introduction service for Bay Area singles over 40 headquartered in Oakland, CA – has called for the dating industry to adopt background checks as a standard business practice and also applauds Match.com’s choice to perform background checks, according to a press release from Matches That Matter. Continue reading
There have been web articles recently about dating sits offering so-called â€œnational criminal databaseâ€ searches on potential matches to weed out criminals, cheats Â and predators.
Unfortunately, offering background checks on dating sites may end up doing more harm then good,Â Although it may on occasion turn up some useful data, they are like fake medicalÂ cures because people are lulled into believing they provide protection.Â By letting people develop a false sense of security, it can put users at even greater risk because they may let their guard down.Â As outlined in the recent article ESR wrote for ASIS magazine, these databases are full of holes.Â In some states, such as New York or California they are nearly worthless.Â For details see:Â http://www.securitymanagement.com/article/how-avoid-hiring-mishaps-005529Â
Background checks on dating sites are one of those situations where it needs to be done right. Even if daters are told about the limitations of such searches, it is such a technical area that is it is hard to see how a consumer can really digest the information in a meaningful way.Â Â The irony is that to substantially increase the value of a background check by taking greter measuresÂ is not very expensive, especially considering the dangers of dating someone who is dishonest or unsafe.
Â ESRâ€™s recommendation is for dating sites to offer real background checks. Either a user can pay for it, or a person that wants to register on a quality site can pay for it.Â Â If a user of the dating site does not want to a utilize the service, that is their decision.Â However, ESR questions if it is really good idea to offer cheap and oftentimes meaningless background checks that may well create a false sense of security.Â