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New measure introduced Thursday requires companies -- not just dating websites or apps -- to get customers' permission before collecting location data off their mobile devices and sharing it with others.
Change may be coming to the rapidly growing dating industry as concern mounts about the privacy and safety of all online and mobile users. Al Franken, D-Minn., introduced legislation Thursday requiring companies to get customers' permission before collecting location data off their mobile devices and sharing it with others.
It's a move that would greatly affect dating websites and apps.
As mobile dating proliferates, the focus no longer is just on daters leery of scams or sexual predators, but on keeping their locations confidential."This stuff is advancing at a faster and faster rate, and we've got to try and catch up," Franken says.
"How do you quantify when someone feels rejected and pushes the report button, and when somebody really feels scared?"Match.com, which has 1.9 million paid subscribers, has been screening all subscribers against sexual offender registries since the summer of 2011, according to spokesman Matthew Traub.Earlier that year, a woman sued the dating site saying she was assaulted by someone she met through it.Edwards believes dating sites are doing what they can to help users be safe."It's difficult for these companies to do much else than provide information and tips," he says."Meeting someone through one of these websites does not present any greater risk than meeting someone in a bar or any other setting.