Calif. Passes Internet Eraser, Celeb Privacy Laws
Teens can now demand online content be scrubbed
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2013 12:03 AM CDT
Bye-bye, keg party pics.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – New laws passed this week mean young people in California now have greater protection of their privacy—especially if they have famous parents. One law approved by Gov. Jerry Brown requires Internet companies to remove a minor's online activity or scrub their content if they request it, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Backers of the "eraser" law say it will give teenagers the ability to get rid of things such as embarrassing party pics that could haunt them into adulthood, but critics say the new law could have unintended consequences—and its makers don't seem to understand how the Internet works.

"The law doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, since nearly every imaginable service offers a delete button," notes Gregory Ferenstein at TechCrunch, predicting a "head-on collision between privacy law and the First Amendment" as soon as a minor seeks to use the law to erase content that somebody else has already shared. Under another law signed by Brown yesterday, attempting to photograph or videotape the child of a celebrity or public official in a harassing manner is now a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, reports the Los Angeles Times. Unsurprisingly, the bill had strong support from Hollywood, although it was opposed by broadcasters and newspapers.

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Showing 3 of 15 comments
Sep 29, 2013 11:20 PM CDT
If I were like Sean Penn or Tom Cruse, I would use the law to drive as fast as I wanted past those traffic cameras and also run lights at the red light cams.
Sep 25, 2013 9:55 PM CDT
If you don't want your picture taken then don't do something in public that's worthy of a picture. People Suck.
Sep 25, 2013 5:00 PM CDT
What's the definition of attempting to photograph in a harassing manner? Is it defined as the subject being "annoyed" by being photographed? I wonder because being annoyed is a personal reaction and is not actually an act of harassment by another.