Three of the biggest online dating services are moving to make the billion-dollar industry a safer one for users. Match.com, eHarmony, and Spark Networks have signed an agreement to screen prospective clients for histories of sexual assault, violence, and identity theft, the Los Angeles Times reports. The companies have told California's attorney general that they will check applications against sex offender registries, and to be more diligent about verifying user information.
"Consumers should be able to use websites without the fear of being scammed or targeted," the attorney general said in a statement, noting that 40 million Americans used online dating services last year. The agreement—intended to provide an example for the industry—stemmed from a lawsuit brought by a woman who was raped by a sex offender she met through Match.com. (Read more sex offenders stories.)