Bill No. 0531
Amendment No. 617523
Senate House

1Representative(s) Ambler offered the following:
3     Amendment (with title amendment)
4     Remove everything after the enacting clause and insert:
5     Section 1.  Section 501.165, Florida Statutes, is created
6to read:
7     501.165  Internet Predator Awareness Act; legislative
9     (1)  SHORT TITLE.--This section may be cited as the
10"Internet Predator Awareness Act."
12     (a)  The Legislature has received public testimony that
13criminals and sex offenders use online dating services to prey
14upon the residents of this state.
15     (b)  The Legislature finds that residents of this state
16need to be informed when viewing websites of online dating
17services as to potential risks to personal safety associated
18with online dating. Also, requiring disclosures in the form of
19guidelines for safer dating and informing residents as to
20whether a criminal background screening has been conducted on
21members of an online dating service fulfills a compelling state
22interest to increase public awareness of the possible risks
23associated with Internet dating activities.
24     (c)  The Legislature finds that the acts of transmitting
25over the Internet electronic dating information addressed to
26residents of this state and accepting membership fees from
27residents of this state for Internet dating services establishes
28that an online dating service provider is operating, conducting,
29engaging in, and otherwise carrying on a business in this state
30and subjects such an online dating service provider to
31regulation by this state and to the jurisdiction of this state's
33     (3)  DEFINITIONS.--As used in this section, the term:
34     (a)  "Communicate" or "communicating" or "communication"
35means free-form text authored by a member or real-time voice
36communication through an online dating service provider.
37     (b)  "Convicted" or "conviction" or "convictions" has the
38same meaning as provided in s. 943.0435(1)(b). However, if an
39offense was committed in another jurisdiction, the term has the
40same meaning as provided in that jurisdiction's equivalent
42     (c)  "Criminal background screening" means, at a minimum, a
43search for a person's felony, misdemeanor, and sexual offense
44convictions initiated by an online dating service provider and
45conducted by one of the following means:
46     1.  By searching available and regularly updated government
47public record databases for felony, misdemeanor, and sexual
48offense convictions if such databases, in the aggregate, provide
49substantial national coverage for such felonies, misdemeanors,
50and sexual offense convictions; or
51     2.  By searching a database maintained by a private vendor
52that is regularly updated and maintained in the United States
53with substantial national coverage for such felonies,
54misdemeanors, and sexual offense convictions.
55     (d)  "Department" means the Department of Agriculture and
56Consumer Services.
57     (e)  "Felony" has the same meaning as provided in s.
58775.08. However, if an offense was committed in another
59jurisdiction, the term has the same meaning as provided in that
60jurisdiction's equivalent statute.
61     (f)  "Florida member" means a member as defined in this
62section who provides a billing address located in Florida with
63zip code and other required billing information when registering
64with the provider.
65     (g)  "Member" means a person who submits to an online
66dating service provider the information required by the provider
67to access the provider's service for the purpose of engaging in
68dating, participating in compatibility evaluations with other
69persons, or obtaining matrimonial matching services.
70     (h)  "Misdemeanor" has the same meaning as provided in s.
71775.08. However, if an offense was committed in another
72jurisdiction, the term has the same meaning as provided in that
73jurisdiction's equivalent statute.
74     (i)  "Online dating service provider" or "provider" means a
75person engaged in the business of offering or providing to its
76members access to dating, compatibility evaluations between
77persons, or matrimonial matching services through the Internet.
78     (j)  "Sexual offense conviction" means a conviction for an
79offense that would qualify the offender for registration as a
80sexual offender under s. 943.0435. However, if an offense was
81committed in another jurisdiction, the term has the same meaning
82as provided in that jurisdiction's equivalent statute.
84     (a)  An online dating service provider offering services to
85Florida members shall provide a safety awareness notification
86containing, at a minimum, information that includes a list and
87description of safety measures reasonably designed to increase
88awareness of safer dating practices as determined by the
89provider. Examples of such notifications include:
90     1.  "Anyone who is able to commit identity theft can also
91falsify a dating profile."
92     2.  "There is no substitute for acting with caution when
93communicating with a stranger who wants to meet you."
94     3.  "Never include your last name, e-mail address, home
95address, phone number, place of work, or any other identifying
96information in your online profile or initial e-mail messages.
97Stop communicating with anyone who pressures you for personal or
98financial information or attempts in any way to trick you into
99revealing it."
100     4.  "If you choose to have a face-to-face meeting with
101another member, always tell a family member or a friend where
102you are going and when you will return. Never agree to be picked
103up at your home. Always provide your own transportation to and
104from your date and meet in a public place at a time with many
105people around."
106     (b)  If an online dating service provider does not conduct
107criminal background screenings on its communicating members, the
108provider shall disclose, clearly and conspicuously, to all
109Florida members that the online dating service provider does not
110conduct criminal background screenings. The disclosure shall be
111provided, at a minimum, as a hyperlink titled "Safety Tips" from
112the profile pages describing a member to a Florida member and
113within the provider's terms and conditions contained on the
114website pages used when a member registers as a Florida member
115or changes his or her registration to become a Florida member,
116and on the confirmation e-mail sent when a Florida member
117completes registration or a change of registration.
118     (c)  If an online dating service provider conducts criminal
119background screenings on all of its communicating members, the
120provider shall disclose, clearly and conspicuously, to all
121Florida members that the online dating service provider conducts
122a criminal background screening on each member prior to
123permitting a Florida member to communicate with another member.
124Additionally, the provider shall disclose, clearly and
125conspicuously, to all Florida members whether a member who has
126been identified as having a felony or sexual offense conviction
127is allowed to communicate with any Florida member. The provider
128shall also disclose, clearly and conspicuously, that background
129screenings of applicants can be fallible and there is no way to
130guarantee that the name provided by a person to be used in a
131background screening is the person's true identity; and that not
132all criminal records are publicly available; and that the
133screenings may not identify every member who has a felony,
134misdemeanor, or sexual offense conviction and members should
135participate in the service at their own risk, using caution when
136communicating with other members. The disclosures under this
137subsection shall be provided, at a minimum, as a hyperlink
138titled "Safety Tips" from the profile pages describing a member
139to a Florida member and within the provider's terms and
140conditions contained on the website pages used when a member
141registers as a Florida member or changes his or her registration
142to become a Florida member, and on the confirmation e-mail sent
143when a Florida member completes registration or a change of
145     (d)  To address any concerns that the criminal background
146screenings used by a provider may create a false sense of
147security, and to allow Florida members to better evaluate and
148compare the extent and scope of any criminal background
149screenings conducted by a provider, the disclosures under
150paragraph (c) shall be immediately followed by a clear and
151conspicuous hyperlink labeled "Details about our Criminal
152Background Screenings." This hyperlink shall provide Florida
153members with access to a web page containing a supplemental
154disclosure that includes, at a minimum, the name of any private
155vendor used by the provider for conducting criminal background
156screenings of felony, misdemeanor, and sexual offense
157convictions; the frequency with which the database of felony,
158misdemeanor, and sexual offense criminal convictions used by the
159provider or private vendor is updated; a listing of each state
160that is included and excluded, along with any limitations or
161restrictions on access to the felony, misdemeanor, and sexual
162offense criminal conviction data available from a state; and
163whether, in addition to felonies, misdemeanors, and sexual
164offenses, any other types or categories of criminal convictions
165are included for each state in the database used by the provider
166or private vendor.
167     (5)  CLEARINGHOUSE.--The department shall serve as the
168clearinghouse for intake of information concerning this section
169from consumers, residents, and victims. The consumer hotline may
170be used for this purpose. Information obtained shall be directed
171to the appropriate enforcement entity, as determined by the
173     (6)  CIVIL PENALTIES.--
174     (a)  An online dating service provider that registers
175Florida members must comply with all provisions of this section.
176     (b)  Acts, conduct, practices, omissions, failings,
177misrepresentations, or nondisclosures committed in violation of
178this section constitute deceptive and unfair trade practices
179under part II of this chapter and the department, the Department
180of Legal Affairs, or the state attorney may institute a civil
181action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover any
182penalties, damages, or injunctive relief to enforce compliance
183with this section. Each failure to provide a required disclosure
184constitutes a separate violation.
185     (c)  The court may impose a civil penalty of up to $1,000
186per violation, with an aggregate total not to exceed $25,000 for
187any 24-hour period, against any online dating service provider
188that violates any requirement of this section. A lawsuit may be
189brought by an enforcing authority as defined in s. 501.203 or
190the department if the department, while acting as the
191clearinghouse, does not refer the matter to the Department of
192Legal Affairs or the state attorney. Any penalties collected
193shall accrue to the enforcing authority or the department's
194Division of Consumer Services to further consumer enforcement
195efforts. No private cause of action is created under this
197     (7)  EXCLUSIONS.--
198     (a)  An Internet access service or other Internet service
199provider does not violate this section solely as a result of
200serving as an intermediary for the transmission of
201communications between members of an online dating service
203     (b)  An Internet access service or other Internet service
204provider is not an online dating service provider within the
205meaning of this section as to any online dating service website
206provided by another person or entity that is not affiliated with
207the Internet access service or Internet service provider.
208"Affiliate" or "affiliated" has the same meaning as provided in
209s. 607.0901.
210     (c)  This section does not create a cause of action against
211an Internet access service, an Internet service provider, or a
212telecommunications provider whose equipment or network is used
213to transport or handle the transmission of a communication by
214any person.
215     Section 2.  The Division of Statutory Revision is directed
216to include the provisions of section 501.165, Florida Statutes,
217in part I of chapter 501, Florida Statutes.
218     Section 3.  If any provision of this act or its application
219to any individual or circumstance is held invalid, such
220invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of
221this act that can be given effect without the invalid provision
222or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are
224     Section 4.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2007.
226======= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ==========
227     Remove the entire title and insert:
A bill to be entitled
229An act relating to Internet predators; creating s.
230501.165, F.S., providing a short title; providing
231legislative findings; providing definitions; requiring
232certain disclosures by online dating services; providing a
233clearinghouse for consumers; providing civil penalties for
234noncompliance; providing exclusions; providing a directive
235to the Division of Statutory Revision; providing for
236severability; providing an effective date.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.