We all know that dating via the internet can be a potentially dangerous thing. There’s always that little fear factor that reminds you that after no matter how many emails or chatting, you still might not know who’s sitting behind the other computer screen. Online dating services have long been a concern for those who could get caught in some weird Nigerian scam and end up losing far more than just a date, and no matter how safe they claim to be, it’s still the internet, and if the internet has taught us anything at all, it’s that creepers and trolls lurk everywhere. To be honest, you really just need to watch Datelines: How to Catch a Predator to know this.

But in Illinois, legislators are taking an action in the form of a proposed bill to help protect its residents who are looking to find love. House Bill 4083 (HB 4083) ‘INTERNET DATING SAFETY ACT’ – would require online dating sites to clearly and conspicuously disclose to all Illinois members if they conduct criminal background checks. HB 4083 would also require Internet dating services to provide a safety awareness notification to all Illinois members of safer dating practices

Also, if an Internet dating service does not conduct criminal background checks on its members, the service shall disclose to all Illinois members that they do not conduct criminal background checks in two or more of the following forms: e-mail message, “click- through” acknowledgement, member profile, or signup page. If an Internet dating service does conduct criminal background checks on all members, the service shall disclose to all Illinois members on the website pages used when an Illinois member signs up that they conduct a criminal background check on each member. Whether criminal background checks are conducted or not, the disclosure shall be provided bold, capital letters in at least 12-point type.

Although, we also know that a cursory background check is still potentially faulty. No superficial background check is going to tell you all the states in which a crime was committed, the exact nature of those crimes, or even what kind of intentions the person has. That might sound ridiculous, but to be honest, I’ve seen people who have squeaky clean records who are the worst people in the world. They’re compulsive liars and have a habit of stealing and torturing small animals.

And this false sense of security is what people who oppose the bill are fearful of. Performing and advertising the act that online dating services across Illinois would more than likely lead to a misconception about a persons need for basic internet dating safety. And this could directly lead to an up rise in violent and nonviolent crimes that are facilitated through internet dating services.

Hopefully, with the passing of this bill, people don’t forget themselves or their protection when they go to look for love on a dating site, and it only helps funnel out the potential criminals lurking on them.

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