Online dating background check controversy

A relative newcomer - founded in 2003 - Dallas-based has drawn attention with racy ads as well as background screenings.

Avowedly for singles only - not straying spouses - it claims to be the only dating service that checks on marital status as well as criminal convictions."We can't guarantee that criminals can't get on our site, but we can guarantee that they'll be sorry they did," the site declares.

has also expressed concerns about any government endorsement of such an initiative.

states that it has considered but rejected the idea of conducting criminal background checks because national criminal databases are incomplete and criminals can avoid detection by signing up with a fake identity.

Meanwhile, Certified Dates.com, set to launch in New York on Valentine's Day and nationwide later this year, promises investigations of everyone on its service....

Your online date doesn't believe that you're smart, good-looking and never had a run-in with the law?

Now you can prove it: Self background checks are becoming the latest fad on Internet personals sites.

State regulation of e-commerce is currently seeking new territory in the online dating industry. states have responded to these concerns by proposing laws to regulate online dating services.

Online dating services are a lucrative and rapidly growing industry that continues to draw concerns about the manner in which its members conduct themselves. This movement has created a debate over the merits of legislative regulation as opposed to self-regulation through better business models and policies.

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Critics say the type of screening envisioned by the law - checking for a particular name in databases of criminal convictions has inherent flaws: users could give fake names, and many dangerous people may not be in the databases.

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