Two women have lost their case against an HIV and STD dating site, which they accused of misrepresenting privacy levels.
The online daters, from Canada and Washington, sued SuccessfulMatch.com, claiming the language used on their affiliated site PositiveMatch.com made them believe that their HIV and STD statuses would remain private.
Examples used were phrases like “you feel like you’re alone in the world, do you wish there was a place where you didn’t have to worry about being rejected or discriminated”, and “we care about your privacy more than other sites”.
The suit says that although PositiveSingles.com promised a “fully anonymous” profile, SuccessfulMatch.com lets its 732,000 users look at profiles from all their affiliates.
This meant that the women’s health information was available to those who hadn’t registered for PositiveSingles.com.
However US District Judge Lucy Koh dismissed the case, agreeing with SuccessfulMatch that the women failed to make the case that the site had misrepresented the level of privacy.
Koh wrote: “Plaintiffs have failed to specifically allege that they saw any of the statements that they claim are misleading, or how the website statements impacted their decisions to register with defendant’s website.
“Plaintiffs’ generalized allegations that defendants ‘preyed on the vulnerability of the members of the public that tested positive for STDs’ and that defendants ‘lured members in with empathetic sounding statements’ are insufficient to meet the pleading requirement.
“Rather, plaintiffs must, at a minimum, allege that they actually viewed the representations that they now contend are misleading.
“Plaintiffs have not pleaded any facts to meet the ‘but for’ test for fraudulent omissions, as they have failed to allege how knowledge of defendant’s omissions about affiliated sites would have impacted plaintiffs’ decision to register for PositiveSingles.com.”
Koh also said that since the women had not bought a subscription to the site – which would mean more HIV and STD information would be shared – they could not show economic damage, or injury.