Illinois General Assembly

Previous General Assemblies

Public Act 097-1056


 

Public Act 1056 97TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
Public Act 097-1056
 
SB2545 EnrolledLRB097 14729 AEK 59730 b

    AN ACT concerning business.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
Internet Dating Safety Act.
 
    Section 2. Findings, declarations.
    The Legislature finds and declares that residents of this
State need to be informed of the potential risks of
participating in Internet dating services. There is a public
safety need to disclose whether criminal history background
screenings have been performed and to increase public awareness
of the possible risks associated with Internet dating
activities. The primary purpose of this Act is to enhance the
safety of individuals who use an Internet service to facilitate
dating.
    The offer of Internet dating services to residents of this
State, and the acceptance of membership fees from residents of
this State means that an Internet dating service is conducting
business in this State and is subject to regulation by this
State and the jurisdiction of the State's courts.
 
    Section 5. Definitions. As used in this Act:
    "Criminal background screening" means a name search for a
person's criminal convictions initiated by an on-line dating
service provider and conducted by:
        (1) searching available and regularly updated
    government public record databases for criminal
    convictions so long as such databases, in the aggregate,
    provide substantial national coverage; or
        (2) searching a database maintained by a private vendor
    that is regularly updated and is maintained in the United
    States with substantial national coverage of criminal
    history records and sexual offender registries.
     "Internet dating service" means a person or entity in the
business, for a fee, of providing dating, romantic
relationship, or matrimonial services principally on or
through the Internet.
    "Member" means a customer, client, or participant who
submits to an Internet dating service information required to
access the service for the purpose of engaging in dating,
relationship, compatibility, matrimonial, or social referral.
    "Illinois member" means a member who provides an Illinois
billing address or zip code when registering with the service.
    "Criminal conviction" means a conviction for any crime
including but not limited to any sex offense that would qualify
the offender for registration pursuant to the Sex Offender
Registration Act or under another jurisdiction's equivalent
statute.
 
    Section 10. Requirements for Internet dating services.
    (a) An Internet dating service offering services to
Illinois members shall provide a safety awareness notification
to all Illinois members that includes, at a minimum, a list and
description of safety measures reasonably designed to increase
awareness of safer dating practices as determined by the
service.
    Examples of such notifications include, but are not limited
to:
        (1) "Anyone who is able to commit identity theft can
    also falsify a dating profile."
        (2) "There is no substitute for acting with caution
    when communicating with any stranger who wants to meet
    you."
        (3) "Never include your last name, e-mail address, home
    address, phone number, place of work, or any other
    identifying information in your Internet profile or
    initial e-mail messages. Stop communicating with anyone
    who pressures you for personal or financial information or
    attempts in any way to trick you into revealing it."
        (4) "If you choose to have a face-to-face meeting with
    another member, always tell someone in your family or a
    friend where you are going and when you will return. Never
    agree to be picked up at your home. Always provide your own
    transportation to and from your date and meet in a public
    place with many people around."
    (b) If an Internet dating service does not conduct criminal
background screenings on its members, the service shall
disclose, clearly and conspicuously, to all Illinois members
that the Internet dating service does not conduct criminal
background screenings. The disclosure shall be provided in two
or more of the following forms: when an electronic mail message
is sent or received by an Illinois member, in a "click-
through" or other similar presentation requiring a member from
this State to acknowledge that they have received the
information required by this Act, on the profile describing a
member to an Illinois member, and on the website pages or
homepage of the Internet dating service used when an Illinois
member signs up. A disclosure under this subsection shall be in
bold, capital letters in at least 12-point type.
    (c) If an Internet dating service conducts criminal
background screenings on all of its communicating members, then
the service shall disclose, clearly and conspicuously, to all
Illinois members that the Internet dating service conducts a
criminal background screening on each member prior to
permitting an Illinois member to communicate with another
member. The disclosure shall be provided on the website pages
used when an Illinois member signs up. A disclosure under this
subsection shall be in bold, capital letters in at least
12-point type.
    (d) If an Internet dating service conducts criminal
background screenings, then the service shall disclose whether
it has a policy allowing a member who has been identified as
having a criminal conviction to have access to its service to
communicate with any Illinois member; shall state that criminal
background screenings are not foolproof; that they may give
members a false sense of security; that they are not a perfect
safety solution; that criminals may circumvent even the most
sophisticated search technology; that not all criminal records
are public in all states and not all databases are up to date;
that only publicly available convictions are included in the
screening; and that screenings do not cover other types of
convictions or arrests or any convictions from foreign
countries.
 
    Section 15. Unlawful practices for Internet dating
services. It is an unlawful practice under the Consumer Fraud
and Deceptive Business Practices Act for an Internet dating
service to fail to provide notice or falsely indicate that it
has performed criminal background screenings in accordance
with this Act.
 
    Section 20. No violation to serve as intermediary. An
Internet service provider or website hosting service does not
violate this Act as a result of serving as an intermediary for
the transmission of electronic messages between members of an
Internet dating service.
 
    Section 90. The Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business
Practices Act is amended by adding Section 2MMM as follows:
 
    (815 ILCS 505/2MMM new)
    Sec. 2MMM. Internet dating safety. It is an unlawful
practice under this Act for an Internet dating service to fail
to provide notice or falsely indicate that it has performed
criminal background screenings in accordance with the Internet
Dating Safety Act.
 
    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
becoming law.

Effective Date: 08/24/2012