3 Online Date Sites Agree to Screen for Predators
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Three online dating giants agreed to screen for sex offenders and take other safety steps after a woman was assaulted on a date, the California attorney general’s office announced Tuesday.
Match.com, eHarmony and Spark Networks signed a joint statement of business principles intended to provide an example for the industry and help guard against sexual predators, identity theft and financial scams.
"Consumers should be able to use websites without the fear of being scammed or targeted," Attorney General Kamala D. Harris said in a statement.
Among other things, the companies agreed Monday to check subscribers against national sex registries, supply members with online safety tips, and provide a quick way to report abuses. Some of the companies already are using some of those practices.
The dating services also will provide the attorney general’s office with reports of suspected criminal activity, she said.
The statement is nonbinding and carries no enforcement penalties, but it does publicly hold dating sites to account for their members’ safety, said Lynda Gledhill, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office.
"They can’t be sued by private parties based on this agreement. We fully expect that the companies will, in good faith, comply," she said.
Match.com, based in Dallas, was a pioneering dating website. Owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp, It now operates in 24 countries and territories in 15 languages.