It seems as if provides the technology on which various websites can be built and tailored for specific groups, areas and diseases.
Most of the sites appear to be affiliated sites and indeed, Positivesingles has 364 affiliated sites listed on their website.
The plaintiff in the case stated that few members would ever click on or read the terms.
Positivesingles now faces having to pay out $16.5m (R202 million) after losing the privacy case.
Conduct a simple web search for “STI dating sites” (or more generally known as STD for sexually transmitted disease), and you'll find dozens and dozens of online dating options for people suffering from herpes, hepatitis, syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and HIV, to name a few.
It sounds like a reasonable idea as people who suffer from these diseases are often reluctant to disclose the infection to a new partner, and if you know your partner already has one too, there is less shame involved in the disclosure and the relationship can get off on a more equal footing.
This case highlights a major issue for internet users: just how secure is the information you share on these niche sites?
Not very, as Hope.dating states on its Terms of Service page: "To the fullest extent permitted by local and national laws, you acknowledge and agree to the fact that any material you send to us shall be treated non-confidential and the site has the right to use such material in advertising or promotions."Dating with an STD made easy At first glance the websites look no different from any other dating website. Most of the sites also offer premium packages with additional functions like services from an STD counsellor, searching according to STD types and chatting with members of the community. If you look at one or more of the niche websites you will notice that most of them look similar.
Shared information This then begs the question that, if you sign up to one of these services, will your information be shared with other sites?
On the Positive Singles website it states that “We never disclose, sell or rent any personal information to any third party organisations.
We always design our affiliate sites and banners around the needs of our members.
Some of our affiliate partners earn tens of thousands of dollars on a monthly basis.”It appears that because there is money involved there are strong reasons to create random sites.
One could essentially argue that signing up to a niche site is nothing more than signing up to a dating website with “niched bannering”.