Back last September we ran a story regarding Match.com, and how many were calling for its members to face background checks prior to being able to register. Online dating checks have been discussed for years yet, at the time, Mandy Ginsberg – General Manager of Match.com claimed that “if we provide background checks, can they be accurate? And if they’re not, do we give a false sense of security to people on the site? That’s the big concern I have. If someone slips through the cracks… does that create more of a risk for people to not be more prudent?”
How times and opinions can change in just six months regarding these online dating checks. After a Los Angeles woman reported that she was raped by a man she met on the site, Match.com has agreed to introduce new screening policies for potential users. The LA Times reports that the site will now begin cross-checking users against a national sex-offender registry, despite the previous concerns that such a policy would not be foolproof and may provide a false sense of security.
Last week, Match.com release a statement regarding the online dating check changes they are implementing, claiming that despite their concerns, after talking to providers and advisers, company officials had finally decided to make a change. “We’ve been advised that a combination of improved technology and an improved database now enables a sufficient degree of accuracy to move forward with this initiative, despite its continued imperfection”, said Gindberg. “We want to stress that while these checks may help in certain instances, they remain highly flawed, and it is critical that this effort does not provide a false sense of security to our members” she continued.
Match.com claims it will take 60 – 90 days to implement the policy change.
Online dating checks are certainly nothing new – True.com has been implementing these checks since the sites conception. It seems that Match.com is only just catching up. They claim that the online dating check changes have been planned for a while, but there is no doubt that the lawsuit filed against them has certainly sped up these plans, if not perhaps created them altogether. Nonetheless, users should remember that background checks are not 100% accurate, and that they should still display caution when using the site and contacting other members.