Dating Site Sued For Sharing HIV & STI Statuses Of Members

PositiveSingles.com
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Facebook and Google probably know more about you than some of your friends do.

We're all guilty of it. In this age of oversharing, we live in public. Every detail of every day is shared with friends, family, fans, and followers with little regard for privacy or potential future repercussions. We assume that the sites we choose to reveal that information to keep our data safe and confidential. It's just blind trust, and sometimes our trust isn't rewarded.

Case in point: Successful Match, which has allegedly posted the HIV and STI statuses of its customers on affiliate dating sites without their knowledge. Successful Match is now facing a class action lawsuit claiming the conglomerate broke the law and its promises of confidentiality to customers on PositiveSingles.com. Positive Singles shared users' HIV and STI statuses with 'thousands' of spinoff sites, alleges the suit, including HIVGayMen.com, STDHookup.com and Blackpoz.com.

The two female plaintiffs say they were promised "fully anonymous profiles" in a service that would connect them with other singles with the same status when they joined Positive Singles. "What it does not do, however, is disclose that there are upwards of a thousand other websites that link to PositiveSingles.com," all of which use the same database of profiles, the women say in the suit.

The suit also alleges that Successful Match created all its websites with identical formats, despite promising that each website was "unique" and "exclusive." The plaintiffs say the websites' forms were intentionally designed to prevent the majority of members from ever seeing the Terms of Service. The Terms of Service could not be printed, and instead could only be obtained by personally contacting SuccessfulMatch.com to request a copy.

The provisions in the Terms of Service gave Successful Match.com the right to share all user profiles created on PositiveSingles.com. They also granted Successful Match the rights to all information entered in the site and gave the conglomerate permission to share the profiles.

The Positive Singles homepage now includes a disclaimer, but it's unclear when the disclaimer was posted:

PositiveSingles is part of a network of affiliated sites serving persons who are STD positive. Please see our Privacy Policy for details of how user profiles are accessible to others in the network.

Currently, the lawsuit seeks class certification, restitution, declaratory judgment, a permanent injunction against the defendant's business plan and collection of fees, and compensatory and punitive damages.