Illinois Legislature Considering Measure to Make Online Dating Services Safer

Since the advent of the Internet, dating services have evolved from a few relatively local businesses with limited membership to a worldwide industry with thousands of subscribers.

Unfortunately, during that time the world has become a more perilous place as predators of all kinds have also embraced the Internet as a means by which to locate and then lure unsuspecting victims into all types of dangerous situations from identity theft to kidnapping and murder.

When you bring together vulnerable individuals who are simply looking for companionship with sociopaths who would like nothing more than to victimize them, the combination is fraught with danger.

Thus, it is not surprising that the Illinois legislature is considering a law that would require online dating services to obtain more extensive background information from its members.

Several lawmakers are troubled by the fact that that, while these services ask for detailed information about their members’ personal likes and dislikes, very little, if any inquiry is made into areas such as whether they have a criminal record, for instance.

The bill under consideration was introduced by” State Representative John Bradley who stated that he was “shocked” to learn that online dating services do not conduct any kind of background check.

The proposal has moved from committee to the full House for deliberation. It would require members to receive more information about their prospective dates including if they have a criminal record. Violations of the law would carry a $1,000 fine for each occurrence. Moreover, any service that refused to abide by the regulations would not be permitted to enroll Illinois residents as members.

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