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Florida Continues to Move Flawed Online Dating Bill

To follow up on our testimony from last week, we sent a letter to the Chairman of the Environmental & Natural Resources Council in Florida’s House of Representatives to further communicate the flaws in this bill (HB 411).  This bill would create a false sense of security and freeze the state of technology for online authentication.

Under HB 411, the criminal background screen consists of a name-only search, rendering it ineffective when a convicted sex offender registers with a name that’s different from the name under which they were previously convicted.

Interestingly, the only online dating company – – that supports HB 411 uses a name-only search, and therefore seeks the state’s implicit endorsement of its current business methods. Competing dating sites, in contrast, are now developing and testing far more effective means of validating a user’s true identity, such as asking a battery of questions based on credit reports.

In addition, the legislation allows companies that use name searches to “bury” the disclaimer on an internal page—while allowing them to proclaim anywhere on their website that they have met Florida’s standard for ”Criminal background screening”.   

To see the entire letter along with the example,  click here