Search OpenLegislation Statutes

This entry was published on 2014-09-22
The selection dates indicate all change milestones for the entire volume, not just the location being viewed. Specifying a milestone date will retrieve the most recent version of the location before that date.
Internet dating safety
General Business (GBS) CHAPTER 20, ARTICLE 26
§ 394-cc. Internet dating safety. 1. As used in this section, the
following terms shall have the following meanings:

(a) "internet dating service" means a person or entity directly or
indirectly in the business, for profit, of offering, promoting or
providing access to dating, relationship, compatibility, matrimonial or
social referral services principally on or through the internet.

(b) "internet service provider" means any person, business or
organization qualified to do business in this state that provides
individuals, corporations, or other entities with the ability to connect
to the internet through equipment that is located in this state.

(c) "member" means a customer, client or participant who submits to an
internet dating service information required to access the service for
the purpose of engaging in dating, relationship, compatibility,
matrimonial or social referral.

(d) "New York member" means a member who provides an in-state billing
address or zip code when registering with the service.

2. An internet dating service offering services to New York members
shall provide safety awareness notification that includes, at minimum, a
list and description of safety measures reasonably designed to increase
awareness of safer dating practices in a clear and conspicuous manner.
Such notification shall include, but not be limited to, the following
statements or substantially similar statements:

(a) "There is no substitute for acting with caution when communicating
with any stranger who wants to meet you."

(b) "Never include your last name, e-mail address, home address, phone
number, place of work, or any other identifying information in your
internet profile or initial e-mail messages. Stop communicating with
anyone who pressures you for personal or financial information or
attempts in any way to trick you into revealing it."

(c) "If you choose to have a face-to-face meeting with another member,
always tell someone in your family or a friend where you are going and
when you will return. Never agree to be picked up at your home. Always
provide your own transportation to and from your date and meet in a
public place with many people around."

Such notification shall be given at the time a New York member
registers with the service and by way of a link on the main website, or
the first entry point, of the service.

3. (a) The attorney general may bring an action against an internet
dating service that violates the provisions of this section:

(i) to enjoin further violation of the provisions of this section; and

(ii) to recover up to two hundred fifty dollars for each New York
member registered with the internet dating service during the time
period that the internet dating service was in violation of this

(b) In an action under subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (a) of this
subdivision, a court may increase the damages up to three times the
damages allowed by such paragraph where the defendant has been found to
have engaged in a pattern and practice of violating the provisions of
this section.

(c) No internet dating service shall be deemed to have violated the
provisions of this section if such internet dating service shows, by a
preponderance of the evidence, that the violation was not intentional
and resulted from a bona fide error made notwithstanding the maintenance
of procedures reasonably adopted to avoid such error.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict any right
which any person may have under any other statute or common law.

4. An internet service provider does not violate this section solely
as a result of serving as an intermediary for the transmission of
electronic messages between members of an internet dating service.