Internet dating safety law
A recent study by Pew Research Center in Washington found that 30 percent of online daters search for information about their possible dates before meeting them.This figure rises to 41 percent among 18- to 29-year olds.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.There's the Arizona man who shelled out ,000 for plane tickets to fly in a Russian beauty who had written to him, breathlessly, "Every time, when I reading your letter, my mood become well and my heart is knocking so strong! Or the guy in Australia who defrauded a bunch of elderly people of their money to transport his Internet "girlfriend," a "North American model," to Australia. Still, even in the wake of all the alleged fraud and abuse, efforts to regulate Web dating have been limited.In addition to the CDA, Congress last year enacted the Mail-Order Bride Business Act, which attempted to regulate the 200-plus mail-order bride services operating in this country.
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The purpose of the act is to protect foreign women from being stalked, abused, or held in the United States against their wishes.
The law is already being challenged by angry wife-shoppers who feel that they should not be forced to disclose personal details (including past marriages, children, or alcohol-related offenses).
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.