- Gillette ad showing a dad teaching his trans son how to shave has the internet in tears 6 Years Ago
- 4chan’s new troll campaign aims to make the hashtag a white supremacist symbol Today 2:49 PM
- Here’s what that ‘cliff wife’ meme is all about Today 12:58 PM
- Artist suspended from Facebook, Instagram after posting anti-MAGA artwork Today 12:04 PM
- How to watch Serie A online for free Today 7:30 AM
- What does ‘uwu’ mean? Today 7:00 AM
- How to uninstall the Epic Games Launcher (for real) Today 6:30 AM
- How to watch the Indianapolis 500 online for free Today 6:00 AM
- Ohio KKK rally met with massive counter-protest and witty signs from local businesses Saturday 5:06 PM
- Guy who said he stole drugs from MS-13 now says viral story is fake Saturday 4:07 PM
- Financial service company left 885 million private records exposed online Saturday 3:13 PM
- Sasha Obama went to prom and Twitter is delighted with the photos Saturday 2:22 PM
- Jon Voight says Trump is the greatest president since Lincoln in Twitter videos Saturday 1:31 PM
- #DeleteFacebook gains momentum after the platform refused to remove doctored Nancy Pelosi videos Saturday 11:58 AM
- ‘Game of Thrones’ failed women—and it’s a shame on its legacy Saturday 7:40 AM
The “eraser law” aims to prevent early mistakes from staying with teens for the rest of their lives. Will it work?
In the future, how much will a politician pay to have her online past cleaned up? How many of us will have our childhood mistakes recorded permanently and publicly on the Web?
A new California law requires Web companies to remove online activity whenever a California minor requests a deletion. The law was signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Monday and is scheduled to take effect in 2015, reports SFGate.
The “eraser law” aims to prevent early mistakes from staying with teens for the rest of their lives.
The law has significant limits. If someone else takes a photo of you, it’s not covered by the law. If you’re an adult looking to delete something you posted when you were a minor, you’re not covered. Most significantly, if an embarrassing photo is copied by someone else to another website, it ceases to be covered by the law. In fact, the law only covers media posted by a minor specifically to, for instance, Facebook or Twitter, and only while the poster is under 18.
While the law’s intent is clear, it’s hard to imagine a law like this having more than a narrow impact. Facebook and Twitter already offer deletion options. If a photo or tweet you posted is particularly embarrassing, someone else can simply save it and host it anywhere at all to move beyond the limits of the law. Remember the Streisand Effect: If you want something off the Internet, someone else will copy it and keep it online.
What does this law make of archive services such as the Wayback Machine? Although it doesn’t archive Facebook, Archive.org does make public copies of coutless blogs and websites created by minors. Simply by nature of being a copy, it would seem that the archive lands outside the reach of this law.
For all its limits, it’s important to note that the eraser law is just one piece of a greater move toward online privacy in the state of California. The state already allows victims of domestic violence to have information deleted from the Internet and prevents employers and schools from logging onto employees’ and students’ social media accounts. The question is, where do they go from here?
H/T The Verge | Photo via Fort Meade/Flickr
Patrick Howell O'Neill is a notable cybersecurity reporter whose work has focused on the dark net, national security, and law enforcement. A former senior writer at the Daily Dot, O'Neill joined CyberScoop in October 2016. I am a cybersecurity journalist at CyberScoop. I cover the security industry, national security and law enforcement.