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updated: 1/26/2012 1:59 PM

Proposals in Illinois would regulate online dating

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Online dating websites operating in Illinois would face regulations under two separate but similar proposals introduced in the Illinois House and Illinois Senate.

The legislation would require online dating websites to tell customers if criminal background checks are done before they can start using the sites. Dating websites also will have to post safety tips, like suggesting users not list their home addresses, The Chicago Tribune reports . Other states, including Texas and New Jersey, have online dating legislation.

If companies don't follow the law they face fines of up to $50,000. Similar Illinois House legislation seeking to regulate online dating stalled six years ago.

State Sen. Ira Silverstein, a Chicago Democrat, said his legislation would give consumer protection measures to dating sites. State Rep. Michelle Mussman, a Democrat from Schaumburg, introduced the other bill this week.

"They're offering a service," Silverstein said. "There should be some due diligence."

However, State Rep. Jim Sacia, a Republican from Pecatonica and former FBI agent, said he would oppose the proposal unless online dating services said they would use background checks done by law enforcement.

"My greatest fear would be the false sense of security," Sacia said.

Two well-known online dating websites, and eHarmony, said they screen subscribers against public sex offender registries.

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