NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Looking for love in all the wrong places?
A few states could soon help save the lovelorn from heartbreak. According to Monday's Los Angeles Times, a handful of state legislatures around the country are mulling legislation that would require online dating sites such as Match.com and Yahoo Personals to conduct background checks on all members, or prominently warn users that they do not.
Bills pending in Michigan, Florida, and Texas would generally order online dating services to uncover criminal felony convictions and post that information or bar the convicts from their sites, according to the newspaper. A similar bill introduced in California was pulled this year and an Ohio legislator plans to introduce one soon.
None of the legislative proposals has passed yet. But the Times noted that a law in one state could extend nationwide because of the challenges applying local rules to the Web.
The Times also pointed out that the call for background checks comes at a time when state and federal legislators are demanding that less personal information be available online. The paper cited recent security breaches at ChoicePoint Inc. and Reed Elsevier's LexisNexis.
The idea of mandatory background checks has touched off an impassioned debate.
Privacy advocates and most online dating services, including Match.com owner IAC/Interactive Corp. and Yahoo Personals owner Yahoo!, Inc., oppose the legislative effort, the Times said. Match.com and Yahoo Personals are the No. 1 and No. 2 online dating sites, respectively.
But rival service True.com not only supports the idea, but is actively lobbying for the bills' passage. More...