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Match.com to screen for sex offenders

Anyone who’s used an online dating service has probably felt like they were being virtually “checked out,” but Match.com is getting ready to take that to a whole new level. According to the Associated Press, the online dating service plans to begin screening its U.S. users against a national sex offender registry, after a California woman sued the company after saying someone she met through the service assaulted her.

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According to comments by Match.com spokesperson Matthew Traub, the company had been considering the screening option for some time, and is not a direct response to the new lawsuit against the company. The company says it had been considering the option for some time, and had only now decided to go ahead with it because of improvements to the database and accuracy of matching systems, although the screening will still be imperfect. The screening procedure will be implemented in the next two to three months.

Last week, a California woman sued Match.com, is seeking a temporary injunction barring the site from accepting new members until a screening is in place. The woman, identified only as “Jane Doe” and an entertainment industry executive, says she was assaulted last year by a man she met via Match.com. Following a second date, attorney Mark. L. Webb says the man followed the woman home and attacked her. The suit claims the attacker had previously faced sex crime charges, and the assault could have been prevented if Match.com had perform screening on its members.

Match.com offers a variety of safety tips on its Web site in an effort to help users protect themselves both in the real world and online. Match.com’s terms of service specifically disclaim responsibility for interactions between members.

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