Online dating under new scrutiny after assault

Match.com's mobile login page.
Match.com's mobile login page. martymadrid/Flickr (cc by-nc-nd)

Online dating service Match.com will start to check its users against the National Sex Offender Registry in response to a lawsuit by Carole Markin of Los Angeles.

Markin is suing the company after a registered sex offender she met on the popular site assaulted her. She says that unbeknownst to her, the man had a criminal record of sexual battery and that he faces other charges.

“People go on it with a certain presumption that it’s going to be a certain amount of safety,” said Markin. “You know that people, when they go on dating websites, they may lie about their age, they may lie about their weight, but you don’t expect them to lie about something like that.”

Markin told KPCC’s Larry Mantle about the way she hopes her lawsuit will make online dating safer.

In a statement to KPCC, Match.com representatives said the company’s agreement to screen for sexual predators hardly guarantees users’ safety, and could cause customers to harbor a false sense of security.

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