Print 35 comment(s) - last by palmira_friend.. on Sep 25 at 3:34 PM

They can only delete certain posts, not their entire Web history

Remember the neuralyzer tool in "Men in Black" that erased a person's memory with a simple flash? Well, that hasn't been developed yet, but a new California law may have that effect on the digital past of teens.

A new bill authored by State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) was signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown yesterday, creating a law that will force internet companies to delete certain content posted by California teens online if they request it. 

Facebook, Twitter and other social networks have become prominent places to speak your mind online, but the problem is that this data is stored by Web companies and can follow a person around for a long time. For instance, a questionable photo on Facebook could be the deciding factor on whether an employer hires you, if they happen to be searching your digital footprint. 

But the new California law doesn't just wipe a person's slate clean if they choose not to have a digital history any longer. Some rules attached to the new law are that the person must be under 18 years old in order to make a request, and they can't just have everything they've ever posted deleted from the internet forever; they have to choose specific regrettable photos or posts.

In addition, if someone other than the person making the request posted the photo or other content, it cannot be deleted (unless the person who posted it makes the request).

If you're a California adult who made a questionable photo or post as a minor, you cannot make requests. What's done is done once you pass 18. 

Web companies may find the new law difficult when it comes to creating new services (especially those that target minors), and they'll have to take the state of California into special account when it comes to new policies. 

However, teens interviewed by SFGate seem to be happy about the new law -- as long as they can keep their friends from posting any questionable content about them.

The law goes into effect come 2015. 

Just last week, it was reported that a Glendale, California school district is hiring a contractor to keep an eye on the social networks of its students in order to find odd behavior and intercept. 

Source: SFGate

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Funny so many negative posts
By Hakuryu on 9/24/13, Rating: 0
RE: Funny so many negative posts
By brucek2 on 9/24/2013 2:11:38 PM , Rating: 5
Hakuryu, the negativity isn't about not wanting a solution to the problem, its about this solution not having any chance of working.

Let's take your example. If your daughter posts a picture on her own account / page somewhere, she usually already has the right to delete that picture whenever she wants (including when she's over 18.) So this law gives her nothing new.

The problem is not her own original copy of the pic, but the many many copies that other people likely made & then re-posted to their own pages. Unless the law is different than described, there's nothing in it that would allow her to get those taken down.

By the way, I'm talking generally about embarrassing photos. The specific example you described might be considered child pornography, in which case there are already many laws that should have resulted in the pic not going up or being removed immediately once the site operator realizes what happened.

RE: Funny so many negative posts
By smegz on 9/25/2013 2:42:03 PM , Rating: 2
So true. It also doesn't appear to cover the images and posts if they transfer to another network. It's a law with little substance and no teeth whatsoever. It's a waste of taxpayer money and time and shows that California's leadership is simply out of touch.

RE: Funny so many negative posts
By amanojaku on 9/24/2013 2:32:10 PM , Rating: 3
If my child is stupid enough to post her tits online without getting paid for it, then she deserves to be ridiculed.

No one is making the argument that kids shouldn't, and won't do stupid stuff. The argument is one of practicality. This law CANNOT guarantee that websites will take stuff down.

Consider Angela Devi, a deceased nude model. She committed suicide in 2006, apparently after her parents found out about her career. She was Indian, so you can imagine her parents weren't too thrilled about what she did. A notice about her death, including references to a suicide note apologizing to her parents, was posted to her website then taken down quickly. The site was taken down soon after. All of her early work, which was posted on, was taken down, as well. A link to a police report confirming her death was posted, then removed. Clearly, someone was trying to scrub any evidence of her past, whether she was dead or alive.

Only one problem: people have memories. I certainly won't forget a body that hot. Funnily enough, Foxes now has her old work again, some of which is dated 2011-2013 (I just checked; didn't even know the site was still up). A quick read of the photographer's statement makes it clear that this is old material, and that he misses her. Her parents (or the model herself, if the death was truly a rumor) must have given up on keeping this stuff hidden. Because there are plenty of other sites, and perverts like myself, who have copies of her work. That's the power of the Internet. You can't hide anything once it gets out.

And now everyone knows I'm a pervert. No big secret to anyone who knows me, though. ;)

RE: Funny so many negative posts
By ritualm on 9/24/2013 2:39:21 PM , Rating: 2
You must love the nanny state mentality that has thoroughly corrupted the American political elite.

RE: Funny so many negative posts
By Alexvrb on 9/25/2013 12:27:53 AM , Rating: 2
What? Are you implying that people should be have to deal with the consequences of their own actions!? Next you'll be telling me that they should pay for their own phones and internet!

RE: Funny so many negative posts
By Reclaimer77 on 9/24/2013 4:25:12 PM , Rating: 3
That would be my crowning achievement as a father. I hope one day to raise a daughter with the genetic awesomeness to become a NSFW hero!

Look at all these awesome daughters! They look happy and well adjusted to me man.

RE: Funny so many negative posts
By jRaskell on 9/24/2013 5:33:26 PM , Rating: 3
Damn it Reclaimer. So tempted... but I'm at work.

By Reclaimer77 on 9/24/2013 6:15:49 PM , Rating: 2
lol smartphone+bathroom break = happy worker??

By marvdmartian on 9/25/2013 7:43:53 AM , Rating: 2
This law is another attempt, by the state of California, to force stupidity on people. It tries to un-do what cannot be un-done. In essence, it's attempting not only to shut Pandora's box, but to also stuff all the bad things back into it.

Didn't work out for Pandora either.

By palmira_friend on 9/25/2013 3:34:47 PM , Rating: 2
my parents inlaw just got a 2013 Audi TT Convertible by working part time off of a computer. additional info..>>........

This has fail written all over it
By amanojaku on 9/24/2013 10:36:30 AM , Rating: 5
The Internet is a big place. Your stuff gets out there, and it can land in a place where this law has no jurisdiction.

A better solution is to monitor your kids, and explain to them that their actions will have consequences in the future. It helps if you give examples, like Michael Phelps and his pot smoking (not against it, just an example, since he lost endorsements), and Octomom and just about anything she does. Make it clear that people are waiting for you to make a fool of yourself online.

And realize that no matter what you tell them, they're going to do something stupid, anyway,

By Jeffk464 on 9/24/2013 11:35:37 AM , Rating: 4
Hey wait a second isn't this law more needed for college students?

By MikeDiction on 9/24/2013 11:45:43 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah this seems like another tedious CA law that will be difficult to enforce. It would be nice to see some recourse for teenage mistakes though. When we were teenagers we didn't have all our lives documented like they are now. Our trials faded with memory.

It will be really interesting to see how the vetting process develops for political candidates/law students/ CEO's etc as younger and younger people have so much more of their immature or criminal activity documented digitally for all of history. Maybe the future president will have a video of him/her rolling balls at a rave and no one will care!

By the way Michael Phelps kept it on the DL. Some South Carolina college student who had the privilege of smoking pot with Michael Phelps sold him out for $10,000. No respect these days. Snitches get stitches!

RE: This has fail written all over it
By Samus on 9/24/2013 1:32:48 PM , Rating: 2
This sets a bad precedent. Now kids will think they can erase stuff, when in reality, nothing on the internet can be erased.

By ritualm on 9/24/2013 1:42:24 PM , Rating: 2
There is no such thing as a delete command in computer storage. To actually "delete" data, you have to either physically destroy the storage media, or overwrite with other data.

This will go so well. /s

By BRB29 on 9/24/2013 10:43:33 AM , Rating: 2
A good first step...but what about the rest of the world where California doesn't have jurisdiction?

RE: Ok...
By Motoman on 9/24/2013 11:23:54 AM , Rating: 3
Like the internet?

How utterly clueless are our lawmakers when they think removing a post from FB means it's gone from the internet?

RE: Ok...
By BRB29 on 9/24/2013 12:24:54 PM , Rating: 2
Yes the internet. That's what I would think they meant by "web"

RE: Ok...
By Motoman on 9/24/2013 1:03:39 PM , Rating: 3
...I was referring to it as an example of someplace they don't have jurisdiction.

Tiffany, nice...
By MZperX on 9/24/2013 12:21:37 PM , Rating: 5
... subtle 2 girls 1 cup reference. ;-)

My name is Carlos Danger
By YearOfTheDingo on 9/24/2013 12:21:33 PM , Rating: 4
And I approved this law

You could already do this
By 195 on 9/24/2013 12:30:52 PM , Rating: 2
A friend of a friend who had a past she wanted to cover up hired a lawyer and basically removed her entire life from the internet. She used to be an escort for high rollers among other things and all the pics, articles, and posts were gone. I was able to dig up a single suggestive photo of her only because the publishing company spelled her name wrong and she was in the background.

So there are already services that do this.

RE: You could already do this
By 91TTZ on 9/24/2013 1:18:19 PM , Rating: 2
It's sort of like revisionist history. She wants to be able to say that she didn't do what she actually did do.

By Arkive on 9/24/2013 12:46:44 PM , Rating: 4
Just so I'm clear, this law allows someone to delete content, but only if they were the ones who posted it? So the person can remove content from accounts/profiles/logins that they in almost all cases already have the right to remove content from? It doesn't allow them to delete the images that have been spackled across the web by others, which is the only thing you would hope to accomplish with a law like this. Even so, in the rare instance you find a use case for this law, how do you force companies hosting data outside of California to delete content?

This goes down as one of the most poorly conceived and executed legislative actions of 2013.

By kingmotley on 9/24/2013 11:20:28 AM , Rating: 3
To be fair, I made a law in my house that no senator may pass stupid laws. Let's see how far that gets me.

Califronia.. Seriously
By coburn_c on 9/24/2013 10:45:00 AM , Rating: 2
Can anyone take this complete failure of a state seriously anymore?

Does no one understand how the interconnected digital infrastructure works?

I'd wager no

By stm1185 on 9/24/2013 12:45:28 PM , Rating: 2
If this was even technically feasible, which I highly doubt, why not put the emphasis on educating parents to actually you know parent and teach their kids not to do stupid crap like posting pictures of their junk alongside racist tirades on the internet.

tough problem
By sulu1977 on 9/24/2013 1:19:25 PM , Rating: 2
In most cases it's the stupid friends, the ex-friends and your enemies that will post damaging stuff of you. The only real solution is to have the legal right to delete any stuff about you, or to retaliate or destroy whomever is damaging you in such a way. You know..... balance of power.

By KeithP on 9/24/2013 1:27:58 PM , Rating: 2
Complete waste of time and effort. Why I am not surprised Brown signed it.

Deleted... Really?
By VorNiss on 9/24/2013 3:13:19 PM , Rating: 2
If you believe that anything that is committed to the internet is EVER deleted... think again. At the very least you better act as if it isn't. Once you clicked "send", you don't know how many copies exist or who has them. It's completely out of anyone's control.

There is a big difference between "not displayed" and deleted. With backup systems and such, believe me when I say nothing is ever really deleted. And how would you know one way or the other? And don't tell me about auditors, data is just too fluid. And yes there are services that try to track down KNOWN data but as I said, you just don't know who might have a copy. There is nothing to stop someone from having a screen scrapped copy of a picture or document. So even if a service doesn't exist anymore data that was posted could still resurface.

So teach you children well...(isn't that a CSN tune?). Even if they tell a service to delete a bad picture or some other digital data... It could still come back to haunt them. Lawsuits never put the cat back in the bag.

By jRaskell on 9/24/2013 5:41:16 PM , Rating: 2
So all that is going to happen now is other teens will know to immediately repost any embarrassing photos they see others posting (which actually already happens fairly often already). The original poster will have the ability to remove what they posted, but not all the repostings.

This law is nothing more than a publicity stunt by some politicians. Totally ineffective and pointless. Great use of our tax dollars.

Gotta love California
By KCjoker on 9/24/2013 6:19:06 PM , Rating: 2
A state with so many clear advantages(climate, resources,etc...) and yet still manage to screw up so much. Keep voting in those libs though, their promises will someday come true...oh wait they won't. They'll soon be bankrupt like Detroit with so many over extended pensions.

By p05esto on 9/24/2013 10:15:14 PM , Rating: 2
Leave it to a democrat to think government should control and police the internet now. This law is INSANE. There are a million web sites that you could post to. You'd have to contact every one of them and for specific things. That along would be crazy, it's hard to get a hold of most web site operators.

Regardless, stuff is mirrored, saved, cached and reused over and over again. You post it online they who knows what could all happen to it. Usually nothing and no one cares about your kegger parties... but you enver can tell, especially for the hot ladies.

By Arsynic on 9/24/2013 2:33:25 PM , Rating: 1
This is more typical left-wing, touchy-feely, feel-good bullshit that's impossible to implement. It's a waste of time.

If your daughter posts a nude photo on the Internet, nothing prevents me from copying it to my HDD and re-hosting it in 50 different places and someone else then doing the same thing.

These people need to just be slapped and booted out of office so they can do the only thing they're good at--getting high and dreaming.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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