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Dating Services Under Fire, Lawmakers Push For Disclosure

April 8th, 2008 by flanews

Two bills in Tallahassee would require online dating services to tell subscribers whether or not theyve screened other members. As Whitney Ray tells us, lawmakers say the legislation is about safety, but others say its an advertising ploy by sites that already do background checks.

Hear if here: Dating Services Under Fire, Lawmakers Push For Disclosure

Online dating sites may be the newest pickup hot spot, but theyre not for everyone. Some people are afraid of who they might meet online.

People can change who they are and you dont really see who they are. Theyre just behind the computer screen, said Lesley Lynn from Orlando, FL.

Senator Ronda Storms fears predators are using dating sites to find victims. Storms is sponsoring a bill requiring sites like Match.com and EHarmony to tell subscribers they dont run background checks.

Either you do it or you dont do it. Thats all. Its transparency. Interesting its so opposed by the industry. And it is vigorously opposed by the industry, said Stoms.

True.com claims its the only online dating site running background checks. Opponents of the bill say its simply about one site wanting its competitors to admit theyre not as good. Opponents said if sites start claiming they run background checks, the disclaimer could give users false hope.

My concern is that if you have something on there that says we do back ground checks we dont know what that means and it might give people who use the thing a false sense of security, said Senator Charlie Justice.

While the bill targets online dating, it does nothing to regulate social networking sites like Myspace and Facebook. Still proponents say youve got to start somewhere. The bill would allow the state to sue any dating service that didnt let its users know its members hadnt been subjected to background checks.

Governor Pushes Insurance Plan for Floridas 4 Million Uninsured

Governor Crist says hes not a fan of big insurance companies, so hes offering up his own plan. In a sit down meeting with Floridians who have run into obstacles trying to get insurance, Crist vented his frustration. Crist wants the legislature to approve his plan to provide Floridas 4 million uninsured the option of buying insurance for about a hundred bucks a month.

By sharing your stories you create urgency and the reason that this is so damn important, pardon my French, said Crist.

Crists plan is moving through the Senate. Its facing heavier opposition in the House.

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