Couple in the Sunset

Background Checks

One of the most controversial subjects in the Online Dating Industry right now is background checks.  The growth of online dating has dramatically increased the chances for users to find a mate.  Online for any reason also makes it easier to come into contact with unscrupulous and even dangerous people.  When you meet people face-to-face, say in a nightclub, there is so much uncertainty because time and exposure are necessary before it is possible to really know someone.

LatinConexiones does not conduct background checks and in that area we are the same as bars, nightclubs, churches, shopping centers, chambers of commerce, social associations, event organizers and many others who are instrumental in creating social meeting opportunities.  This is not to say that background checks are not a good idea but we feel it important to help educate and inform our site visitors and LatinConexiones members so they can make their own decisions about background checks.

Background checks can actually begin very early in the communication with the new friend or potential partner.  Many users of dating sites focus on the here and now in their communication as they seek areas of similarities in the personalities, interests, hobbies, activities, music, etc.  Those are great places to begin as compatibility and mutual likes and dislikes are important.

But it is also a great time to include in the conversations personal background questions such as place of birth, city where grew up, high school attended, college, places where lived and workplaces in the past.  If is decided that a background check would be helpful all of the answers about the person’s past life will be very useful when it is time to focus the search into their personal history.

The advances of internet technology have created a wealth of opportunities to learn more about your person of interest beginning with only a basic search on Google, Bing or Yahoo.  After that step then move into the social media arena using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  You may not be able to discover specific criminal behavior or sexual misconduct but you will be able to learn more about many other aspects of the person.  What you are looking for is consistency in the person’s behavior, attitudes, interests, hobbies, friends, activities, causes that have their passion, the friendships they keep and many other personality traits, qualities or characteristics.

If you are considering a background check on a person please understand is now more acceptable.  It is not necessary to share with your potential new partner that you are moving in that direction but it is more common for a person to learn he/she is the object of a background check.  Remember, if the person has nothing to hide there should be no concern and if the person passes favorably then he/she should be happy that you can become a little more relaxed.  Not completely relaxed and not a false sense of security; but a little more relaxed.

If you decide to move to the next level to a background check please be mindful that this is the area where much controversy exists and a background check may not necessarily be the definitive answer for any concern you have.  You need to be aware of some of the shortcomings of background checks in general.

A background check that produces the true sense of security depends on 100% accuracy from state to state and county to county in the USA and country to country in the rest of the world.  This is an area where background checks begin to fall short.

There is a lack of consistency between the states in USA and some states don’t have records online.  There is a lack of consistency between the counties in USA and again some counties do not have records online.  Please know that States depend on their own counties to populate their records.  Some states do not have all of their county records on file.  There is no national criminal database.

There is a lack of consistency between the services that perform the criminal background checks.  Some will search part of the field of searches and some will search all information about criminal offenses.  Remember too there will always be a difference in the information for those who were arrested and then had the resources to find a lawyer who was able to help them avoid conviction.

There is a lack of consistency between states in their rules allowing other companies to perform criminal background checks.  Some jurisdictions do not allow companies to obtain certain vital information.  Some criminals in those states may appear to have a record of innocence through criminal background checks.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union background checks often contain erroneous information.   Note that the errors can occur on both sides of the fairness issue and will cause a lack of faith in the background check.  It is interesting to note that the ACLU data privacy expert told the Washington Post in 2016 that criminal background checks are wrong.  Problems include names getting mixed up and information being out of date.  He warned that consumers who are buying online dating background checks are “buying a defective product.”

The dispute has been made more difficult for the online dating industry because legislators and politicians in several states are being pressured to force the dating services online to make criminal background checks or say prominently on their site that they do not do background checks.  Please understand the full grasp of what happens when politicians are being pressured.  Essentially, it means that money is being exchanged for favorable votes by vested parties.  To our knowledge lawmakers are not being lobbied to require background checks by bars, nightclubs, etc.

We suggest another way to help you become more comfortable about your new person of interest.  Remember when we would meet someone new in real life and we would immediately turn to our families and friends and ask them “What do you think?”  That option is still available to us as we strive to feel better about our new friends or new partner.

Ask your trusted members of your family and group of friends who have opinions and thoughts that you have always trusted to visit the profile of your new person and share information that you now have.  Remember, you are affected emotionally as you may have found your new partner so your thoughts and your antennae and your instincts may be affected.  Your trusted friends and family members also have emotions involved but they are focused on the wellness and safety of you.

The family of LatinConexiones websites is concerned about and supports efforts to help protect and safeguard the Safety and Privacy of our users and members of our sites.   We will continue to advise you in all areas to ensure good experiences with us and let you know that your dependence on our help will always be acknowledged.