IADW Opposes Proposed Background Check Legislation

Several State Legislatures in the U.S. are considering bills that would mandate criminal background checks by dating and social networking websites (or a large disclaimer posted on the home page saying that background checks have not been performed).  We are opposed to this, for several reasons:

1. It would be too costly. One of the reasons that so many singles are finding love, romance, and friendship online is because it is affordable. Mandating background checks could make online dating cost-prohibitive for millions of singles.

2. It is unfair. Offline dating services, matchmakers, speed dating companies, non-profit singles organizations, newspaper that run personal ads, etc. are not required to do background checks. Only a tiny percentage of the hundreds of thousands of organizations and associations in America do criminal background checks on their members. Why single out the online dating industry?

3. It is inappropriate for government to endorse a business model.  True.com is spearheading this legislation, which legislates their business model, which does background checks on all of their members. While True.com certainly has a right to tout its background checks, it is inappropriate for government to give them unfair advantage.

4. It would create a false sense of security.  Background checks are limited in value, because none of them go through all criminal records nationally. A woman could date a man thinking he has no criminal record because it was not uncovered by the background check, despite the fact that he was a murderer or rapist.

We hope that you will contact your state legislators and let them know that you oppose the proposed background check legislation in Michigan (SB 286), California (AB 1681), Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Virginia, and Ohio.

In addition, IADW takes positions on many other important issues facing the online dating industry. Our goal is clear communication about issues such as:

  • Privacy
  • Sales of email lists to 3rd parties
  • Ability to change account/billing info easily

Afiliate linking guidelines:

  • Most dating sites have a linking area.
  • Respecting copyrighted content.
  • Alphabetize links forwebmasters so they can easily find them.