Dating Background Check – Is it Legal?
How confident are you when you plan to date someone online? If a dating background check is something you have thought of, this article is for you.
Times have changed. We don’t meet our life partners like we used to. Thanks to the internet, many Americans are now turning to online dating websites like Tinder and Match.com to find their significant others. While this has obviously widened the pool of potential mates you can meet, it has also made it easier to get duped. Studies show that 53% of people who are registered on dating sites have lied about one or more things on their profiles.
This is why many people prefer searching online for information about someone they are about to meet for the first time. But is it legal to run a background check on someone you date?
Can you run a background check on someone you met online?
A background check on a potential partner could get you some detailed information but this practice is ILLEGAL. Yes, you heard it. You CANNOT run a background report on any other person without their consent. The FTC is the federal agency that enforces an individual’s right to privacy. Even when you apply for a job before any organization can obtain and use your background data, they must have your written permission for the background check.
Without written approval, the business violates an FCRA law explicitly written to protect consumer rights from unauthorized access of personal information. You cannot run a background check on your potential spouse or dating partner without their consent. The Privacy Act of 1974 specifically guards against the unauthorized release of personal information. Every individual has the right to look at and evaluate any personal information reported about them and ask for errors to be corrected and to be informed about any disclosures. The Financial Monetization Act of 1999 mandates financial institutions to provide their customers with privacy policies explaining the information being accumulated and how the information is used.
What checks can you run on your date?
As we have already mentioned at the beginning of this blog that it is illegal to run a dating background check, but here are a few screening items that you can perform.
National sex offender registry
Check the public sex offender registry for your potential date. You can go and look it up for free here. NATIONAL SEX OFFENDER PUBLIC WEBSITE
Social Media Check
Social media websites are free to surf until unless someone has technically blocked strangers from viewing their information. Usually, the platforms such as Facebook and Twitter permit users to set levels of privacy from sharing everything to only minimum information such as name and picture. But even this information can be falsified. You can however screen the social media profiles to learn more about their activities, content, and mindset. But beware, this information is not guaranteed to be accurate, as most people will put their best side forward when sharing it publicly.
It’s basic but it is very important. A simple search engine search could also fetch many of the matching keywords for the person you are dating. Check the first 10 pages of Google search results for a relatively better idea.
Seek consent of the other person
Last but not the least, ask permission from your potential life partner if you really want to run a background check to be sure. Make sure that you get their consent in writing, might sound awkward but for many, it would make sense.
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