Texas AG blocks dating site sale over privacy concerns

True.com sale would have turned over data for millions of customers

Ever tried online dating? There’s a good chance you have: According to Match.com, 40 million Americans have tried finding a partner online. One would think that privacy would be a major concern on these sites — you don’t want everyone finding out all of your personal information. But yet, tens of millions of customers on True.com could be at risk if the dating site is sold, Texas’s attorney general has said.

Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a petition to block the sale of True.com to Canadian-owned rival dating site PlentyofFish.com for $700,000. Abbott’s office claims that True.com failed to adequately notify its large user base about the impending sale and that user’s private information would also be sold. This private information includes criminal and divorce histories that are held on the site.

Through the original terms of the proposed sale, users could still opt out, but they would need to make that request on an individual basis. According to Abbott’s office, that clause was not fully protecting user’s privacy.

PlentyofFish.com pulled its offer on Oct. 23, just days after Abbott’s office filed its petition. Lawyers from True.com and PlentyofFish did not respond to the Wall Street Journal’s law blog’s request for comment. True.com has been searching for a buyer since filing for bankruptcy in late 2012.

It seems that the matchmaking business is leading to more and more jaded customers — and an increase in litigation. In August 2012, another Texas judge dismissed a class action suit against Match.com, in which disgruntled customers did not feel the site delivered on the “millions of potential matches” it promised. In June 2012, an Oregon jury awarded $900,000 to a woman who contracted herpes following unprotected sex with a retired dentist she met on eHarmony. And a pair of black football players sued ABC's “The Bachelor” in April 2012 for perceived bias in selecting its contestants.

 

True.com customers aren’t the only ones with privacy concerns. Read these recent stories related to privacy on InsideCounsel:

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