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Full Text of SB2545  97th General Assembly

SB2545enr 97TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
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1    AN ACT concerning business.
 
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
 
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Internet Dating Safety Act.
 
6    Section 2. Findings, declarations.
7    The Legislature finds and declares that residents of this
8State need to be informed of the potential risks of
9participating in Internet dating services. There is a public
10safety need to disclose whether criminal history background
11screenings have been performed and to increase public awareness
12of the possible risks associated with Internet dating
13activities. The primary purpose of this Act is to enhance the
14safety of individuals who use an Internet service to facilitate
15dating.
16    The offer of Internet dating services to residents of this
17State, and the acceptance of membership fees from residents of
18this State means that an Internet dating service is conducting
19business in this State and is subject to regulation by this
20State and the jurisdiction of the State's courts.
 
21    Section 5. Definitions. As used in this Act:
22    "Criminal background screening" means a name search for a

 

 

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1person's criminal convictions initiated by an on-line dating
2service provider and conducted by:
3        (1) searching available and regularly updated
4    government public record databases for criminal
5    convictions so long as such databases, in the aggregate,
6    provide substantial national coverage; or
7        (2) searching a database maintained by a private vendor
8    that is regularly updated and is maintained in the United
9    States with substantial national coverage of criminal
10    history records and sexual offender registries.
11     "Internet dating service" means a person or entity in the
12business, for a fee, of providing dating, romantic
13relationship, or matrimonial services principally on or
14through the Internet.
15    "Member" means a customer, client, or participant who
16submits to an Internet dating service information required to
17access the service for the purpose of engaging in dating,
18relationship, compatibility, matrimonial, or social referral.
19    "Illinois member" means a member who provides an Illinois
20billing address or zip code when registering with the service.
21    "Criminal conviction" means a conviction for any crime
22including but not limited to any sex offense that would qualify
23the offender for registration pursuant to the Sex Offender
24Registration Act or under another jurisdiction's equivalent
25statute.
 

 

 

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1    Section 10. Requirements for Internet dating services.
2    (a) An Internet dating service offering services to
3Illinois members shall provide a safety awareness notification
4to all Illinois members that includes, at a minimum, a list and
5description of safety measures reasonably designed to increase
6awareness of safer dating practices as determined by the
7service.
8    Examples of such notifications include, but are not limited
9to:
10        (1) "Anyone who is able to commit identity theft can
11    also falsify a dating profile."
12        (2) "There is no substitute for acting with caution
13    when communicating with any stranger who wants to meet
14    you."
15        (3) "Never include your last name, e-mail address, home
16    address, phone number, place of work, or any other
17    identifying information in your Internet profile or
18    initial e-mail messages. Stop communicating with anyone
19    who pressures you for personal or financial information or
20    attempts in any way to trick you into revealing it."
21        (4) "If you choose to have a face-to-face meeting with
22    another member, always tell someone in your family or a
23    friend where you are going and when you will return. Never
24    agree to be picked up at your home. Always provide your own
25    transportation to and from your date and meet in a public
26    place with many people around."

 

 

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1    (b) If an Internet dating service does not conduct criminal
2background screenings on its members, the service shall
3disclose, clearly and conspicuously, to all Illinois members
4that the Internet dating service does not conduct criminal
5background screenings. The disclosure shall be provided in two
6or more of the following forms: when an electronic mail message
7is sent or received by an Illinois member, in a "click-
8through" or other similar presentation requiring a member from
9this State to acknowledge that they have received the
10information required by this Act, on the profile describing a
11member to an Illinois member, and on the website pages or
12homepage of the Internet dating service used when an Illinois
13member signs up. A disclosure under this subsection shall be in
14bold, capital letters in at least 12-point type.
15    (c) If an Internet dating service conducts criminal
16background screenings on all of its communicating members, then
17the service shall disclose, clearly and conspicuously, to all
18Illinois members that the Internet dating service conducts a
19criminal background screening on each member prior to
20permitting an Illinois member to communicate with another
21member. The disclosure shall be provided on the website pages
22used when an Illinois member signs up. A disclosure under this
23subsection shall be in bold, capital letters in at least
2412-point type.
25    (d) If an Internet dating service conducts criminal
26background screenings, then the service shall disclose whether

 

 

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1it has a policy allowing a member who has been identified as
2having a criminal conviction to have access to its service to
3communicate with any Illinois member; shall state that criminal
4background screenings are not foolproof; that they may give
5members a false sense of security; that they are not a perfect
6safety solution; that criminals may circumvent even the most
7sophisticated search technology; that not all criminal records
8are public in all states and not all databases are up to date;
9that only publicly available convictions are included in the
10screening; and that screenings do not cover other types of
11convictions or arrests or any convictions from foreign
12countries.
 
13    Section 15. Unlawful practices for Internet dating
14services. It is an unlawful practice under the Consumer Fraud
15and Deceptive Business Practices Act for an Internet dating
16service to fail to provide notice or falsely indicate that it
17has performed criminal background screenings in accordance
18with this Act.
 
19    Section 20. No violation to serve as intermediary. An
20Internet service provider or website hosting service does not
21violate this Act as a result of serving as an intermediary for
22the transmission of electronic messages between members of an
23Internet dating service.
 

 

 

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1    Section 90. The Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business
2Practices Act is amended by adding Section 2MMM as follows:
 
3    (815 ILCS 505/2MMM new)
4    Sec. 2MMM. Internet dating safety. It is an unlawful
5practice under this Act for an Internet dating service to fail
6to provide notice or falsely indicate that it has performed
7criminal background screenings in accordance with the Internet
8Dating Safety Act.
 
9    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
10becoming law.