A small victory for online privacy


Starting in 2015, web companies will have to remove online activity - whether it is scandalous or simply embarrassing - if a California minor requests it.

This State has already permitted on certain occasions, such as in domestic violence cases, to get information struck from the online record, and on a federal level, there has been similar legislation to children´s online privacy, but only for minors less than 13 years old - but none which include an eraser clause.  Nevertheless, this eraser law can only be considered a small victory, since the legislation has its limits: teens won't have absolute certainty that their parents, or college admissions officers or future employers - won't see their photo at a keg party, even if they ask for the photo to be removed.

If the underage drinking picture is posted by someone else, for example, it's not covered by the law. If the image is copied and posted to another Web site, that would not be covered, either.

Web companies also are not required to scrub their servers clean of personal data, just remove the requested item from public viewing. Under the law, sites can offer ways for users to make the redaction directly, or provide an avenue for users to request one.  And the law doesn't extend to adults that want to delete material that they posted when they were minors. 

This law bars Web companies and firms that deal in mobile apps from marketing products that are illegal for minors - such as alcohol, cigarettes and firearms - if they know, or should know, a minor is logged in. The companies also are not allowed to provide identifying information on minors to vendors of these products.

The minors aware of this news were in favour of this law, even though they also recognized the need to still be cautious when taking pictures, since you never know who might upload them online. 

Written By: Athena Poysky




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