In news that could set a precedent for online dating sites, Match.com announced over the weekend that it plans to begin screening users to see if they have a history of being sex offenders.
Match and several other online dating sites have been reluctant to go down this path in the past, but now the site is the subject of a lawsuit brought by a customer who alleges she was sexually assaulted while on a Match.com date with a man who would have turned up in a search for sex offenders. The site tells the AP that it was planning on making this move anyway, but the lawsuit hastened their decision.
“We’ve been advised that a combination of improved technology and an improved database now enables a sufficient degree of accuracy to move forward with this initiative, despite its continued imperfection,” a rep for the company tells the AP, with the caution that, “[W]hile these checks may help in certain instances, they remain highly flawed, and it is critical that this effort does not provide a false sense of security to our members.”
The sex offender screening should begin in two to three months. No word on whether or not Match’s parent company IAC will institute this policy at its other dating sites, Chemistry.com and OKcupid. We’ve asked IAC for comment and will update if they get back to us.