Safety on internet dating

(a) An online dating service provider that offers services to residents of this state and conducts a criminal background check on each member before permitting a Texas member to communicate through the provider with another member shall clearly and conspicuously disclose to all Texas members that the provider conducts a criminal background check, as described by Section 106.003, on each member before permitting a Texas member to communicate through the provider with another member.(b) An online dating service provider that offers services to residents of this state and conducts a criminal background check on each member shall include on the provider's Internet website:(1) a statement of whether the provider excludes from its online dating service all persons identified as having been convicted of:(A) a felony offense;(B) an offense the conviction or adjudication of which requires registration as a sex offender under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure; or(C) an offense for which an affirmative finding of family violence was made under Article 42.013, Code of Criminal Procedure;(2) a statement of the number of years of a member's criminal history that is included in a criminal background check; and(3) a statement that:(A) criminal background checks are not foolproof;(B) criminal background checks may give members a false sense of security;(C) criminal background checks are not a perfect safety solution;(D) criminals may circumvent even the most sophisticated search technology;(E) not all criminal records are public in all states and not all databases are up to date;(F) only publicly available convictions are included in the criminal background check; and(G) the criminal background check does not cover other types of convictions than convictions for offenses described by Section 106.003(a) or any convictions from foreign countries.(c) A disclosure required by Subsection (a) must be stated in bold, capital letters in at least 12-point type on the online dating service provider's Internet website.

Today, nearly half of the public knows someone who uses online dating or who has met a spouse or partner via online dating – and attitudes toward online dating have grown progressively more positive.

To be sure, many people remain puzzled that someone would want to find a romantic partner online – 23% of Americans agree with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate” – but in general it is much more culturally acceptable than it was a decade ago.

It was late fall during my freshman year at college.

My friends and I were piled on my dorm bed, staring at the phone and willing it to ring.

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