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Greg Abbott protects privacy of Texans on dating database

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Wichita Falls native and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today (Wednesday, Dec. 11) succeeded in protecting the privacy of 43 million people including two million Texans who are members of a dating service, according to the Texas Attorney General's office today. Abbott, who is running for governor of the Lone Star State, continues working hard as the top law enforcement official in Texas by securing privacy protections for members of the national dating service known as True.com.

Because of Abbott's efforts, the dating service will not be allowed to sell its 43-million member database to a Canandian dating service as part of its bankruptcy proceedings. The website and database are owned and operated by Plano-based True Beginnings, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection more than a year ago. The company is currently moving to reorganize under a plan which must be approved by a federal bankruptcy judge.

Although the results of Abbott's drive to protect the privacy rights of citizens were announced today, the state's 50th attorney general began his effforts in October when he objected to True.com's proposed sale of its huge database to a Canadian dating service as part of the bankruptcy. Shortly after Abbott's office filed the objection, the Canadian firm withdrew its offer to purchase the database, and the agreement today guarantees that True.com will not share the private information of members to third parties without their informed consent.

Today's settlement includes several critical protections for Texans and others by requiring True Beginnings to take the following actions:

l. Develop and maintain an up-to-date and accurate privacy policy; 2. state in its policy how it protects members' information; 3. implement a security program to protect the confidentiality of member information; 4. obtain member consent to transfer the members' private information to a third-party buyer and 5. comply with the Texas Internet Dating Safety Act.

More details can be found at the website of the Texas Attorney General's Office.

This bankruptcy case is only one more illustration of the many ways the privacy of Texas and U.S. citizens can be invaded through database sharing without the knowledge of the public. Only the vigilance of Abbott and his office prevented the leaking of the private details of millions to the world without either their knowledge or consent.

Abbott is running in the Republican primary for governor in 2014. While he is the frontrunner in that race, he is likely to be forced to deal with millions of dollars of out-of-state donations for his Democratic opponent in the November general election.

As Texas Attorney General Abbott's accomplishments have included successfully prosecuting for sexual assault several members of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints compound in West Texas, protecting individual religious liberties by arguing in f ront of the U.S. Supreme Court and protecting the rights of children by enforcing child support laws at a record level.

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