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Florida Lawmakers Approve True's Plan to Help "Police" Online Dating Services

( - April 17, 2005)'s quest to get states to force Online Dating Services to alert the public as to whether or not they do criminal background checks on members got another boost last week with favorable votes from Florida's House Criminal Justice Committee and the Senate Commerce and Consumer Services Committee. True started its campaign to force its way on other online dating services after signing an exclusive agreement with the Web's largest criminal background service. Even though some other services offer criminal background checks, True publicly claims that "True is the only online relationship service that screens communicating members against the largest criminal record database on the Internet."

Even though True prominently mentions on its front page that it does background checks, it fails to mention on its home page the failure rate of such checks and what states aren't included in the checks. Several clicks away from True's home page is the following:

"Criminal background checks are not a guarantee of safety. It is possible for criminals to circumvent even the most sophisticated background search technology. Lack of prior criminal record is not a guarantee that a person won’t commit a crime. Every criminal has a first victim."

True has been on a quest for over a year to get states to adopt legislation forcing all online dating services to either do criminal background checks or publicly post that they don't do criminal background checks. Being an online dating service that signed an exclusive contract with the Web's largest criminal background check service, True is seen by many other online dating services as having a strong conflict of interest.

True's possible conflict of interest aside, some Florida lawmakers are hailing the bill as a successful strike against criminals who participate in online dating.

"I believe that stopping even one of these predators from easy access to potential victims justifies the disclosure requirements we are proposing," said Senator Victor Crist, one of the measure's sponsors. in the Senate. "This good legislation will give Florida's online dating consumers one extra measure of protection, along with other common-sense precautions they take when dealing with individuals they meet online."

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