People looking to find possible life partners online will now have to tread with some more caution. An advisory on the functioning of matrimonial websites online in accordance with the Information Technology Act, 2000, released by the department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), states that websites will have to ask users to enter into “a user agreement” in which there is a “confirmation of the user’s intent to enter into a matrimonial alliance”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The advisory, released by DeitY in response to the ministry of women and child development (WCD), and in consultation with the ministry of home affairs (MHA), and the National Commission of Women (NCW), states that the user agreement will also be accompanied by the user having to furnish photo IDs to register online, for user verification.It further states that these portals are “mandated to adhere to the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the Rules made thereunder including The Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011.” And that these websites should strive to achieve national and international standards such as IS/ISOIIEC 27001 standards for data protection furnished by the user. It has also asked the websites to display the name of the grievance officer as mandated by the intermediaries guidelines.The advisory states that with the evolution of the traditional arrangement of Indian marriages, matchmaking has shifted online. This has, the advisory stated, “complaints of frauds, misuse of information”.”There have been instances where users of matrimonial websites falsify about their marital status, age, height, personality, health, social and economic status. In most of the cases victims are women who fall prey to these fraudsters after getting introduced through fake profiles on matrimonial portal,” the advisory states.An official in the WCD ministry said that several complaints have come up recently. “There were complaints where women who befriended men online were asked to share intimate information, and thereby duped. We thought that a guideline is the need of the hour to strengthen safe practices online,” the official said.The advisory, further asks for a strong privacy policy to be maintained by the website “to safeguard personal information of the users.” A phone verification process should also be ensured, it states.Further, websites are also asked to store user details like access logs and the IP address of profile creation for a year after the account is deactivated. And that, the websites should mention clearly that they are for marriage purposes, and not for dating.

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‘Intent to marry’ agreement must to seek matches online: Government