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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:57 am 
Provided to InternetDatingConference.com courtesy of the Florida State Legislature


HB 1035 - 2005

FLORIDA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
A bill to be entitled

An act relating to online dating services;
providing definitions;
requiring criminal background checks before allowing a member of a dating service to perform certain acts;
providing exceptions;
requiring disclosures in certain circumstances;
requiring each service to establish a policy concerning criminal background check results;
providing minimum requirements for a policy;
requiring opportunities for certain persons to review the policy;
requiring a specified disclosure on the profile of a person with a criminal conviction;
providing for civil actions for violations of the act;
providing for damages, including specified liquidated damages, costs, and attorney's fees;
providing for actions by the Attorney General to enforce the act; providing specified immunity for the state;
providing for criminal violations of the act;
providing penalties; providing specified acts by operators do not violate the act;
providing an effective date.

Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

Section 1. Definitions.--As used in this act:

(1) "Communicate" or "communicating" means free-form text or real-time voice communication.

(2) "Criminal background check" means a search for a person's felony and sexual offense convictions by one of the following means:

(a) Through the criminal history record system maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation based on fingerprint identification or any other method of positive identification used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(b) Through the criminal history record systems maintained by each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

(c) Through a private vendor whose database contains more than 170,000,000 criminal records, has substantially national coverage, is updated at least once every 30 days, and is operated and maintained in the United States.

(d) Through a database search conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and one of the searches provided for in paragraphs (a)-(c).

(3) "Member" means a person who is either a member or who submits a profile or other information for the purpose of dating, matrimonial, or social referral services to an online dating service provider.

(4) "Online dating service provider" or "provider" means a person or organization engaged, directly or indirectly, in the business of offering, promoting, or providing access to dating, relationship, compatibility, matrimonial, or social referral services primarily through the Internet.

Section 2. Criminal background check; required disclosures.—

(1) An online dating service provider that provides services to residents of this state shall do one of the following:

(a) Conduct a criminal background check for each member using the online dating service before allowing that person to communicate with another person through the service.

(b) Disclose clearly and conspicuously, to all website visitors residing in this state, on the provider's homepage and all other pages where visitors or members first enter the provider's website, on the profile page, and on all e-mails sent through the service by communicating members, within the top one-third of the webpage, that the online dating service provider has not conducted criminal background checks under paragraph (a). The disclosure shall state the following:

"WARNING: [NAME OF PROVIDER] HAS NOT CONDUCTED FELONY OR SEXUAL OFFENSE BACKGROUND CHECKS ON ITS MEMBERS."

(c) If the provider conducts a criminal background check as provided in section 1(2)(b), display through a readily accessible link on the provider's homepage, within the top one-third of the webpage visible after selecting the disclosure link, a conspicuous disclosure that states the following:

"WARNING: BASED SOLELY ON THE NAME PROVIDED BY THE MEMBER, [NAME OF PROVIDER] HAS CONDUCTED A CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK THROUGH THE CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD SYSTEMS MAINTAINED BY EACH OF THE 50 STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA."

(d) If the provider conducts a criminal background check as provided in section 1(2)(c), display through a readily accessible link on the provider's homepage, within the top one-third of the webpage visible after selecting the disclosure link, a conspicuous disclosure that states the following:

"WARNING: BASED SOLELY ON THE NAME PROVIDED BY THE MEMBER, [NAME OF PROVIDER] HAS CONDUCTED A CRIMINAL DATABASE SEARCH THROUGH A PRIVATE VENDOR WHOSE RECORDS MAY NOT INCLUDE ALL CONVICTIONS FROM ALL JURISDICTIONS. CONTACT [NAME OF PROVIDER] FOR INFORMATION REGARDING WHICH JURISDICTIONS ARE INCLUDED."

(e)1. If the provider conducts a criminal background check as provided in section 1(2)(d), display through a readily accessible link on the provider's homepage, within the top one-third of the webpage visible after selecting the disclosure link, a conspicuous disclosure that states the following:

"WARNING: BASED SOLELY ON THE NAME PROVIDED BY THE MEMBER, [NAME OF PROVIDER] HAS CONDUCTED A CRIMINAL DATABASE SEARCH THROUGH FLORIDA RECORDS MAINTAINED BY THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT."

2. If the provider has made the required additional search under section 1(2)(d) using the method provided in section 1(2)(b) or section 1(2)(c), a sentence shall be added to the disclaimer as follows:

a. If the additional search was done pursuant section 1(2)(b), add the following:

"ADDITIONALLY, [NAME OF PROVIDER] HAS CONDUCTED A CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK THROUGH THE CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD SYSTEMS MAINTAINED BY EACH OF THE 50 STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA."

b. If the additional search was done pursuant to section 1(2)(c), add the following:

"ADDITIONALLY, [NAME OF PROVIDER] HAS CONDUCTED A CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK THROUGH A PRIVATE VENDOR WHOSE RECORDS MAY NOT INCLUDE ALL CONVICTIONS FROM ALL JURISDICTIONS. CONTACT [NAME OF PROVIDER] FOR INFORMATION REGARDING WHICH JURISDICTIONS ARE INCLUDED."

(2) An online dating service provider that conducts criminal background checks shall update each criminal background check at least once every 90 days.

Section 3. Provider policy.—

(1) Each online dating service provider shall establish a policy that conforms to the requirements of this act as to what actions the provider will initiate as a result of information obtained through a criminal background check or database search. At a minimum, the policy shall contain the following:

(a) An acknowledgement that criminal background checks are not a perfect safety solution and an acknowledgement that criminals may circumvent even the most sophisticated search technology.

(b) An acknowledgement that only felony convictions, not all arrests, are covered by the criminal background checks, unless the provider uses the Federal Bureau of Investigation database.

(c) An acknowledgement that first-time offenders can commit crimes and will not have a prior criminal conviction.

(d) A description of additional safety measures reasonably designed to increase awareness of safer dating practices.

(e) A statement clearly describing whether the provider excludes from its website all persons identified as having a criminal conviction.

(2) A copy of the policy established under subsection (1) shall be made available to each person who applies for
membership with the provider.

(3) The provider's homepage shall contain a link that will allow a person to review the policy established under subsection (1).

(4) If a provider chooses not to exclude from its website all persons identified as having a criminal conviction, then the provider shall prominently disclose on the profile of each such person when shown or sent to a member residing in this state the following warning:

"WARNING: THIS PERSON HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED AS HAVING A PRIOR CRIMINAL CONVICTION."

Section 4. Civil remedies.—

(1) A civil action may be brought by a person who suffers damages as a result of a violation of this act.

(2) In an action brought under this section, a person who suffers damages as a result of a violation of this act may recover actual costs, actual and reasonable attorney fees, and the greater of the following:

(a) Actual damages; or

(b) Damages of $250 for each day for which the requirements of this act are not met.

(3) If the online dating service provider fails to meet the disclosure requirements of this act for any of its members or visitors, such failure constitutes a separate violation for each member or visitor for whom the required disclosure was not provided.

(4) A civil action may be brought by the Attorney General against a violator of this act as provided in this section. However, existence of the right of action in this subsection does not impose any liability on the state or its agents.

Section 5. Criminal violations.—

(1) A person who violates this act commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, except that, as provided in s. 775.083(1)(g), a fine of $250 is authorized for each day for which the requirements of this act are not met.

(2) If the online dating service provider fails to meet the disclosure requirements of this act for any of its members or visitors, each such failure constitutes a separate violation for each person for whom the required disclosure was not provided.

Section 6. Provider acting as intermediary.—

A provider does not violate this act as a result of being an intermediary between the sender and recipient in the transmission of a message that violates this act.

Section 7. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 12:56 am 
The House Committee on Criminal Justice will hear the background check bill at Wednesday March 30 at 9:15 in the morning in Tallahassee, Florida.

It will be in one of the Florida House of Representative meeting rooms in the Capitol. The address should be available at: http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/ and schedule is at:

http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/committee ... px?id=4429


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 Post subject: ridiculous
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 1:32 am 
HB 1035 -- Online Dating Services

My company does business with customers in Florida.

A company named TRUE, http://www.true.com is behind this attempt to legislate their business practice into law, increasing business for them by manipulating the law to serve their purposes.

"That's a solution looking for a problem," said Jim Safka, the CEO of Match.com.

Background checks are not any kind of predictor of future behavior. Who is to say that a person makes a date using a service and commits a criminal act for the first time?

Background checks can possibly turn up false information. Duplicate names creating a mistaken identity can mark some people with common names are criminal or "in a relationship".

Background checks will in no way determine that a person is lying when they represent themselves online in profiles or email.

Given these problem with background checking, legislated background checks on online dating services is ridiculous.

HB 1035 will only harm our industry by forcing us to purchase background checking services from companies such as TRUE and incur large programming costs as our online software is reprogrammed.

I urge you to throw out HB 1035 and any future bills which would legislate background checking in to a law.

Sincerely,

Kelly Thomas
OWNER
SinglesWithScruples.com
1809 W. Main #121
Carbondale, Il 62901-2123


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 9:05 pm 
Florida Meeting for March 30 is delayed......The Bill is being Amended.

Marc Lesnick
Webmaster


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 Post subject: Money talks
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 6:48 pm 
The marketing move

The very fact that the background check itself guarantees just nothing is obvious. So its just a marketing a-la True.com.
They don't really care about their users but more about their revenue at any cost. When a mainstream business doesn't work and cash is over, then derivatives of the business may help.
An open and honest competition is an engine of the modern economy. Though True.com is trying hard to rewrite the rules.
Good for them! But how much brain does it take to make dating providers disclose whatever is required "...within the top one-third of the webpage...” It's a quote from the Florida State Legislature HB 1035 - 2005. It just doesn't make any sense. All sites and services have lot of rules, terms, conditions and disclosure exposed. But I'm not familiar with any precedent when lawyers regulated the design of the page as opposed to just content.

Even "saint" True.com has no warnings in that upper third of EVERY PAGE.
Guys, from True certainly overdid the job. Did you overpay or what's your problem? I wish you to be the first to pay $250 a day.

Yours truly


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 8:57 am 
FYI,

We've already got Michigan State Senator Alan Cropsey to come to iDate San Francisco and we are working on several others. There will be a special panel session so you can talk with them directly.

:boxing:

Marc Lesnick
Conference Organizer
Internet Dating Conference


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 12:56 am 
Maybe we should require all e-commerce websites to post the obvious on the top of their webpages.

WARNING: Although we attempt to safekeep the credit card number that you enter, we cannot guarantee you that your information will never be used to create fraudulent charges, steal your identity, ruin your credit, and force you into bankruptcy.

Frkn idiots.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 1:41 am 
Ok, so someone in Florida joins a dating site, of which the company is based in say, UK, Oz or offshore/BVI - they are accepting terms and conditions based on the place where the company is registered and trading.

...you don't have terms for every country and every state!

They saw the law is an ass, and mayb ein this case it is. How can someone in Florida make me, or other non-US based dating sites change our t&c's - they can't, simple as that.

the next thing that will happen is bars will not be aloud to allow people in unless back ground checks are done, then restaurants will follow...couple can't booka dinner reservation unless they have had back ground checks done, and it will get more and more dumb.

Every system has a loop hole, suggest money spent on good laywers will beat money spent on intergrating back ground checks!

Maybe states in US can start campainging for having school reports put onto profiles too, criminal background checks, school reports, maybe a little area where your old neighbour from growing up can login and say how you were a little git growing up......why not!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 2:21 am 
The most interesting portion of the market is at the United States USD600million (English), then Europe USD600million? (different languages), Asia USD500Million? (mostly Chinese and Japanese), Australia and New Zealand USD150million?(English) and LatinAmerica USD100million?(Spanish)
A market as big as USD1950million??? will require Legislation.
Persons searching for Serious-OnLineDating-Services will pay for Quality (includes customer service).

Cordially,

Fernando Ardenghi
Buenos Aires
Argentina
ardenghifer@gmail.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2005 3:10 pm 
The size of the market is irrelevant.

To give you a better example a US state CANNOT make a UK dating company abide by it's state laws as that UK company has it's own terms and conditions relevant to the UK, and that US state CANNOT block or prevent someone in that state joining a dating site anywhere in the world.


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