MIAMI HERALD -- Apr 27 -- Love is supposed to steal your heart not your car. The background checks bill passed the Florida Senate Criminal Justice Committee Tuesday but still must be scheduled for a floor vote in the waning days of the session. Although True.com has pushed similar legislation in six other states, no other bill has made it this far. ''I've got complete confidence that True is going to run this thing through,'' said Mark Brooks, the editor of Online Personal Watch, who has been monitoring the bill's progress. "But the industry certainly doesn't like the idea that it's being rammed down their throats." While True.com says it's simply trying to make online dating safer, critics accuse the newcomer, which has 3 million members, of using the legislation to stake out more turf in a crowded and lucrative industry. Said Kristin Kelly, senior director of PR at Match.com. "It's bad for the industry because it continues to promote a stigma that's not accurate.'' True's CEO Herb Vest said, "we don't want criminals and married people preying on our members. There are close to 70 million singles out there that are not using online dating sites right now. If we can let them know that, as an industry, we care about their safety then we're all going to grow at a prodigious rate.'' The Florida DOC database hasn't been updated since August of last year and Rapsheets only searches 15 of the state's 67 counties. Two Miami online dating sites -- Webdate.com and Date.com -- said they will be offering their clients background checks, regardless of the bill's outcome. ''I think background checks are a relatively good idea, if done properly,'' said Webdate COO Abe Smilowitz.
Mark Brooks: True is leaning on the Florida bill with all it's might, connections and savvy. The session ends Friday 6th May. Watch this space! I'll keep you posted.