Will you finally be able remove those humiliating selfies that still show up when a new friend or employer Googles your name?
Not if you’re over 18 or if you live outside California. If so, those pics are, sadly, here to stay.
California’s new “Erase Law” (real name: Senate Bil 568) is meant to help minors preserve their reputations. Basically, with the new law, they’ll be able to wipe their digital slate clean.
All websites, including social media giants Facebook and Twitter, will now be required to give those under 18 an opportunity to delete harmful photos and posts.
In other words, kids who didn’t learn the right way to keep their information secure are being given a second chance.
By requiring that websites extend this choice to minors, the bill sets up a big task for online companies. They’ll now have to figure out how to determine which users are under 18 and in California.
The law, which seems pretty difficult to enforce, will go into effect in January 2015.
Although its terms are complex and may present problems for many sites, the “Erase Law” sets a great precedent for matters of online security. And, now that the issue of online responsibility has gotten state attention, the debate about whether the law’s goal is feasible will hopefully move on up to the federal level.
“This is a good business practice that should filter through the industry,” Rhys Williams, spokesman for the bill’s author Democratic Sen. Darrell Steinberg, told the Huffington Post. “These companies are keen to avoid bad press just as parents are keen to avoid bad attention toward their children.”