California Law Allows Minors to Erase Online Footprint

California Law Allows Minors to Erase Online Footprint

Minors can request companies to delete embarrassing content they posted, but sometimes that might not be enough to save a college or job application.

More and more, school counselors and career services tell high schoolers and college students to be aware of their online presence when applying to colleges or jobs. A profile photo of you having fun at a party holding the typical red solo cup could be the nail in the coffin for your application. A new California law could change that for minors. California governor Jerry Brown signed a bill yesterday that will require web companies to remove online activity when requested by a California minor.

"Kids so often self-reveal before they self-reflect," James Steyer, founder of San Francisco non-profit organization Common Sense Media, said. "Mistakes can stay with teens for life, and their digital footprint can follow them wherever they go."

Even so, while the bill is a small victory for online privacy, once something is online, it could spread. Even if web companies comply with minors' requests and remove inappropriate content, if another person posted a photo of someone, the law does not force that person to remove it. Or if someone reposts it elsewhere, it is out of the web company's hands.

The law also bans web companies and firms dealing with mobile apps from marketing products that are illegal for minors when minors are logged in. However, the Center for Democracy and Technology in D.C. cautions that the restrictions could deter web companies from creating content for children.

Source: SF Gate

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Great step in the right direction. We all do stupid shit as a kid, it's best most of that stays out of future google searches.

What is this!? Something competent about laws and in Internet, and it is from my state as well!?
*head explodes*
Can someone help me pick up the pieces of my brain that just exploded from the shock of politicians doing something that can actually turn out very good.

That doesn't stop the NSA from keeping your data. Nor the Wayback Machine.

Eventually we'll just have to accept that people have lives and kids do stupid things while they're kids. In fact, that's generally how kids get unstupid.

238U[1]

[1] As of this posting I have not received a US National Security Letter or any classified gag order from an agent of the United States.
Encrypted with Morbius-Cochrane Perfect Steganographic Codec 1.2.001
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 11:02 AM
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I'm guessing that this law won't actually have much effect. I mean, once something's on the Internet, it's pretty much on the Internet forever. Maybe this helps a little bit if someone realizes they did something stupid the very next day, but if they're hoping to get something wiped out that's been on the Internet for a couple of years...well, good luck with that.

So instead of Delete Browsing History, there will be a Delete Internet History? Cool.

It's cute how politicians believe they know how the internet works.

So what if the content I posted on a website belonging to company A, which was actually build and maintained by company B whose servers are hosted by company C, but not in California, but in state D with backups existing outside the US in country E?

Who's responsible for what? Does this law even apply?

What if we go further? With company A having it's website build by company B using the CMS and servers from company C that are hosted by company D who's outsourcing that to company E ( and yes, that really happens ) with half the companies involved not being American and all servers located outside the USA?

What happens?

So why limit this law to minors only? Why not make it for everyone? Many adults would like their footprints removed too.

I'd like if, one day, facebook and google could be forced to delete the data they have on me as well. Not sure why minors are the only ones who need to be protected from aggressive/quasi-illegal data collection.

Weaver:
I'd like if, one day, facebook and google could be forced to delete the data they have on me as well. Not sure why minors are the only ones who need to be protected from aggressive/quasi-illegal data collection.

They're definitely not, but I'm guessing there's just a lot more precedent for protecting minors from this type of thing in real life since most criminal acts and such are erased once a person becomes of age, so it's probably the easiest starting point.

Maybe once all the people who grew up before Facebook have died then maybe we can stop being fucking hypocrites about it.

Kuala BangoDango:
So why limit this law to minors only? Why not make it for everyone? Many adults would like their footprints removed too.

Because by then you've already lost your sole.

Um, how about making it illegal for schools and employers to butt into your personal life instead? By personal I mean anything you've taken reasonable steps to keep private or separate from your professional life, like using a pseudonym on forums like this one, or making use of the privacy settings (which if you're on Facebook and you're not, you're either an idiot or someone running a PR account) on social media sites. As it stands this is like sending a company spy to follow you around while you hang out with your friends.

Way to miss the point, California.

The "don't post compromising stuff on the internet" hasn't come about because of single, easily isolated companies hosting that material. The entire reason that 'message' exists exists is because of the concept that once something gets online, it's 'out there'. There's no getting it back, it spreads in all directions and any control is an exercise in futility.

In other words, as the OP mentions, a court order to remove stuff accomplishes very little.

There used be a time when people were smart enough to use nicknames and not post personal information on websites. What happened to that?

Might as well make it for adults too. I don't see how they'll enforce this on websites owned by none-Californians.

Owyn_Merrilin:
Um, how about making it illegal for schools and employers to butt into your personal life instead?

I agree with you on the principle, but it seems impossible to enforce unless every college/workplace will be obligated to send detailed information on anyone they decide to accept or not. I don't think that it's going to happen anywhere.

Doom972:
There used be a time when people were smart enough to use nicknames and not post personal information on websites. What happened to that?

Might as well make it for adults too. I don't see how they'll enforce this on websites owned by none-Californians.

Owyn_Merrilin:
Um, how about making it illegal for schools and employers to butt into your personal life instead?

I agree with you on the principle, but it seems impossible to enforce unless every college/workplace will be obligated to send detailed information on anyone they decide to accept or not. I don't think that it's going to happen anywhere.

Let me put it this way: many employers actually ask for your username and password so they can get unrestricted access to the stuff you have marked private on Facebook. There's no law against this (outside of six states, one of which actually is California -- last time I checked, no states had such a law), and if you refuse to give them the information, they'll refuse to hire you. It's pretty danged terrible.

There have also been cases of teachers getting fired because of something they posted on Facebook that was marked friends only. The case I'm thinking of in particular apparently involved a co-worker writing an anonymous letter, claiming to be a parent who was offended. It had to be something like that, because it was friends only and the teacher didn't have any of her students' parents on her friends list.

The picture in question? The teacher holding a glass of wine and a mug of beer on a tour of a historic brewery, taken during Summer vacation on a trip to Europe.

^None of that stuff should have happened. Nor should any attempts to find out what pseudonyms the employee/prospective employee uses on sites like this one, where there's a long held expectation of anonymity going back to when people actually used the phrase "world wide web."

Weaver:
I'd like if, one day, facebook and google could be forced to delete the data they have on me as well. Not sure why minors are the only ones who need to be protected from aggressive/quasi-illegal data collection.

Kuala BangoDango:
So why limit this law to minors only? Why not make it for everyone? Many adults would like their footprints removed too.

In this case it's more because businesses in California search online for things about you during the selection process for interviews at times and when it's a kid getting a job it can be made more of a pain because businesses are very relucatant to hire here. Well at least they are down here in Southern California.

Owyn_Merrilin:
Um, how about making it illegal for schools and employers to butt into your personal life instead?

There actually was a law here that was like that, but I don't know if it's still active or not. Plus, employers down here have found ways around it. Shitty I know, but this State is pretty shady when it comes to hiring people and they make it even more difficult.

Owyn_Merrilin:

Doom972:
There used be a time when people were smart enough to use nicknames and not post personal information on websites. What happened to that?

Might as well make it for adults too. I don't see how they'll enforce this on websites owned by none-Californians.

Owyn_Merrilin:
Um, how about making it illegal for schools and employers to butt into your personal life instead?

I agree with you on the principle, but it seems impossible to enforce unless every college/workplace will be obligated to send detailed information on anyone they decide to accept or not. I don't think that it's going to happen anywhere.

Let me put it this way: many employers actually ask for your username and password so they can get unrestricted access to the stuff you have marked private on Facebook. There's no law against this (outside of six states, one of which actually is California -- last time I checked, no states had such a law), and if you refuse to give them the information, they'll refuse to hire you. It's pretty danged terrible.

There have also been cases of teachers getting fired because of something they posted on Facebook that was marked friends only. The case I'm thinking of in particular apparently involved a co-worker writing an anonymous letter, claiming to be a parent who was offended. It had to be something like that, because it was friends only and the teacher didn't have any of her students' parents on her friends list.

The picture in question? The teacher holding a glass of wine and a mug of beer on a tour of a historic brewery, taken during Summer vacation on a trip to Europe.

^None of that stuff should have happened. Nor should any attempts to find out what pseudonyms the employee/prospective employee uses on sites like this one, where there's a long held expectation of anonymity going back to when people actually used the phrase "world wide web."

Asking for a username and password? I wasn't aware of this. I thought you just meant looking at their Facebook profiles in the same way any other user can. There should definitely be a law against asking for log-in information as a condition for college/employment. I'm not sure what the law in my country says about it.

Doom972:

Owyn_Merrilin:

Doom972:
There used be a time when people were smart enough to use nicknames and not post personal information on websites. What happened to that?

Might as well make it for adults too. I don't see how they'll enforce this on websites owned by none-Californians.

I agree with you on the principle, but it seems impossible to enforce unless every college/workplace will be obligated to send detailed information on anyone they decide to accept or not. I don't think that it's going to happen anywhere.

Let me put it this way: many employers actually ask for your username and password so they can get unrestricted access to the stuff you have marked private on Facebook. There's no law against this (outside of six states, one of which actually is California -- last time I checked, no states had such a law), and if you refuse to give them the information, they'll refuse to hire you. It's pretty danged terrible.

There have also been cases of teachers getting fired because of something they posted on Facebook that was marked friends only. The case I'm thinking of in particular apparently involved a co-worker writing an anonymous letter, claiming to be a parent who was offended. It had to be something like that, because it was friends only and the teacher didn't have any of her students' parents on her friends list.

The picture in question? The teacher holding a glass of wine and a mug of beer on a tour of a historic brewery, taken during Summer vacation on a trip to Europe.

^None of that stuff should have happened. Nor should any attempts to find out what pseudonyms the employee/prospective employee uses on sites like this one, where there's a long held expectation of anonymity going back to when people actually used the phrase "world wide web."

Asking for a username and password? I wasn't aware of this. I thought you just meant looking at their Facebook profiles in the same way any other user can. There should definitely be a law against asking for log-in information as a condition for college/employment. I'm not sure what the law in my country says about it.

Oh no, that would be totally different XD

If you leave your facebook profile public, anything anyone finds is your own dumb fault. The problem is people are losing their jobs over things their employer really shouldn't have access to in the first place.

Great decision. Way to further remove people from responsibility. Go ahead, do everything possible to accustom kids to the world bending over backwards for them until they think they deserve it; that'll prepare for real life. God I am so glad I'm not a child of this generation.

YOu cant use local laws to regulate internationa companies. That doesnt work.
This law is PR and nothing more.

You wont find me on google, excelt my official work mail/phone which is posted on my work website. There is no image of me on the internet. I dont use fartbook or similar services. Any IM services i use does not know my name. I actually created identity of Strazdas everywhere i went as one unified multiaccoutn being that does not exist in real life.

The fact that some employers would ask for such things in order to get hired repulses me. they deserve to go out of business as soon as possible.

This has to be a law? (It doesn't affect internationals with servers and offices around the world, hell just facebook has at least 10 offices in EU with each their own server clusters... Hell Google has huge server farm near where I live, a whole old paper mill's worth, and then smaller one in my hometown. The content in these servers has to follow local laws and are not subject to other countries laws...

But something like this has to be enforced by a law to begin with is stupid. But still step to right direction...
But fuck me... If I want facebook to delete my photos isn't it common sense it would delete them. Like Tumblr does, in which picture/post is tied to unique location which is just relinked...

Also why wont facebook and such sites just set it so that their content can not be displayed via search engine results....
I don't know what is more sickening, the fact that privacy is not self-obvious or the fact that employers sniff torugh candidates private life...

Hagi:
It's cute how politicians believe they know how the internet works.

So what if the content I posted on a website belonging to company A, which was actually build and maintained by company B whose servers are hosted by company C, but not in California, but in state D with backups existing outside the US in country E?

Who's responsible for what? Does this law even apply?

What if we go further? With company A having it's website build by company B using the CMS and servers from company C that are hosted by company D who's outsourcing that to company E ( and yes, that really happens ) with half the companies involved not being American and all servers located outside the USA?

What happens?

It won't matter because the content will have been archived by the way back machine and user F will have reposted the content to social media site G after which it was turned into a meme and immortalized on meme collection site H.

Erasing things from the internet completely is not a feasible goal. There are plenty of people who posted dumb things that can attest to that.

It'd be far better if we just accepted that and made the effort to educate youngsters before turning them loose on the internet.

Another day, another futile law passed by California.
Though at least this one's intentions are legitimately good.

while its a good thing, it creps me the fuck out at the same time.

i blame the movie eden lake.

EDEN LAKE! DAMN YOU TO HELL!

 

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