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 PositiveSingles.com, which advertised itself as a confidential service connecting single adults with STDs.
The plaintiff in the case - known only as John Doe- argued PositiveSingles.com 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.