California Law Protects Minors Online

The California Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown help protect minors online.

Monday September 23, 2013 Governor brown signed a bill into law written by the Sacramento Democrat state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. The law requires Internet companies to remove from public view photos and data posted by minors at the minor. Companies just have to make the data inaccessible and not delete it.

While the law helps young people correct some mistakes from haunting them their entire life it still requires personal responsibility. The files have to belong to the person posting it. So you can’t ask pictures of you be removed if you did not do the posting. This means parents still need to teach their children to be aware that anyone can be filming and posting.

The law also only covers an original posting of information, not copies. So if your own embarrassing post goes viral it will still be available years later. Parents will have to also teach their kids not to post embarrassing pictures or videos.

Another important loop hole in the law created by only deleting original posts is data harvesting. As more and more companies crawl the web harvesting data from social media the more likely it is that even deleting original posts won’t save you. So the question of what should be allowed to happen with information online becomes more relevant.

California law already allows some people to have information online removed, such as victims of domestic violence. California also requires companies to inform visitors to their websites what information they are gathering about the visitor and who the share that information with. Now with this bill California seems to be leading the way in protecting citizen’s privacy online.

The law goes in affect in 2015. On the internet that’s a lifetime.

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