CBS 11 Header TXA 21 Header MeTV Header KRLD Header The Fan Header
CBS DFW WEATHER APP: iPhone App Store | Android App Coming Soon | More Information

Local

3 Online Dating Sites Agree To Screen For Predators

View Comments

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

From Our CBS Music Web Sites

625x352 thrill eng preview 3 Online Dating Sites Agree To Screen For PredatorsWin A Trip To Disneyland!

82641739 10 3 Online Dating Sites Agree To Screen For PredatorsHottest Sunbathers Of The Summer

jennifer lopez 770 3 Online Dating Sites Agree To Screen For PredatorsJennifer Lopez's Bathtub Selfie

 alt=The New Wonder Woman

 alt=Musicians Then And Now

Fantasy_tile

VOTE: Best Coaches In American Sports

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.

Based in Santa Monica, eHarmony operates in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Spark Networks Inc., based in Beverly Hills, runs a number of dating sites geared to specific religions and ethnicities.

Last year, an estimated 40 million Americans used an online dating service and spent more than $1 billion on dating website memberships, according to the attorney general’s office.

In statements, the three companies all said they make the safety of their members a priority and hoped the statement would encourage other companies to adopt similar policies.

The statement was prompted by the 2010 sexual assault of a Los Angeles-area woman by a man she met through Match.com, Gledhill said. Alan Wurtzel had a string of previous convictions for sexual battery.

Prosecutors said that on their second date in 2010, Wurtzel drove the woman to her home, followed her inside and assaulted her.

The defense at first argued the sex was consensual, but Wurtzel last year pleaded no contest to sexual battery by restraint and was sentenced to a year in jail. He also was ordered to register as a sex offender.

The woman sued Match.com, seeking a court order requiring the website to check applicants’ backgrounds to weed out convicted sex offenders. She dropped the suit last year after the site provided proof of such screening.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Also Check Out:

View Comments