STD dating website fined $16.5m in privacy case

Jury found dating site acted with malice and violated consumer laws by sharing personal information on group's subsidiaries

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The Independent Online

An internet dating site for users with sexually transmitted diseases has been ordered to pay $16.5 million in damages in a privacy case.

The lawsuit alleged a number of users were misled about their privacy rights on, which advertised itself as a confidential service connecting single adults with STDs.

The plaintiff in the case - known only as John Doe- argued and parent company Successful Match mined and shared users' personal information, including photographs, and distributed them on its subsiary websites.

A California jury found the company had violated state consumer laws and found oppression, malice and fraud on the part of the websites, ordering it to pay $1.5 million of compensatory damages and $15 million in punitive damages.

Successful Match is a niche online dating service, which owns a number of websites including AIDSDate, Herpesinmouth, ChristianSafeHaven, MeetBlackPOZ and PositivelyKinky.