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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
UNITED STATES: Class Claims Dating Sites Disclose Statuses
By William Dotinga
July 29, 2013
Courthouse News Service (07.23.2013) customers have filed a class action suit against the dating Web site conglomerate for posting their HIV and STD statuses on multiple other Web sites, thus violating confidentiality promises. The suit alleges that SuccessfulMatch lured HIV- and STD-infected clients to join its dating site by promising that the site would keep their profiles anonymous and would not share personally identifiable information. Although the PositiveSingles dating site home page emphasized customers’ privacy, the claimants charged that SuccessfulMatch shared personal information entered in the site with thousands of other Web sites operated by SuccessfulMatch. The suit also stated that SuccessfulMatch set up all its Web sites with identical formats and falsely promised that each Web site was “unique” and “exclusive.” Claimants charged that SuccessfulMatch designed its Web sites’ forms so that most members never saw the Terms of Service, and members could not print out the Terms of Service. Customers could obtain a copy of the Terms of Service only by personally contacting and requesting it. The Terms of Service provisions gave Successful the right to share all profiles in, gave SuccessfulMatch the rights to all information entered in the site, and gave the conglomerate permission to share the profiles. The suit seeks class certification, restitution, declaratory judgment, a permanent injunction against the defendant’s business plan and collection of fees, and compensatory and punitive damages.