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Bumble Faces Penalty for Failing to Disclose If Its Dating App Suitors Include Criminals *Centurion Insurance AFS*

Feb 23, 2024 (0) comment , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Texas-based internet dating service provider Bumble, Inc. will pay $315,000 and change its business practices to settle allegations it violated New Jersey’s consumer protection and internet dating safety laws by misrepresenting or failing to disclose its criminal background screening policies and practices to its New Jersey users.

New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin reported that the company agreed to the settlement terms to resolve a state consumer agency investigation that found that Bumble and its affiliate Badoo dating platform either inaccurately represented their criminal background screening policies or failed to disclose them at all, in violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (CFA), the Internet Dating Safety Act (IDSA), and consumer regulations related to internet dating services.

In addition to the monetary settlement, Bumble has agreed to make changes to its business practices to comply with New Jersey laws and regulations. These changes include: accurately disclosing the company’s criminal background screening policies on its dating websites and apps; disclosing whether these services allow individuals with criminal backgrounds to access the services to communicate with New Jersey users; and providing details and caveats regarding the background screenings. It also must send an email and issue a pop-up notification to all existing New Jersey users informing them of these disclosure updates.

“New Jersey residents using internet dating services have a right to know if convicted sex offenders and other violent criminals may be among the pool of potential suitors reaching out to them online,” said Platkin. “Our internet dating safety law requires companies to tell New Jersey members exactly what they’re doing – or not doing – to identify dangerous offenders and prevent them from accessing the online profiles of our residents. Compliance with that law is not optional.”

IDSA, a component of the CFA, requires internet dating services to clearly and conspicuously disclose whether they conduct criminal background checks on users, IDSA applies to any company that provides internet dating services to New Jersey residents.

The state’s consumer division said it launched its investigation into Bumble in 2020 amid growing concerns of sexual assault occurring via dating platforms. The investigation revealed that Bumble and Badoo have historically screened at least some of their users against state and national sex offender registries. Nevertheless, Bumble has stated that it does not conduct criminal background screenings and Badoo has failed to include any criminal background screening disclosures for consumers.

Source: New Jersey Attorney General

New Jersey

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