At some point in time, most of us have all done or said something online that we wished we could take back. The Internet is an unforgiving and relentless environment and one wrong post could adversely affect your entire life. Children, in particular, are often guilty of posting comments and pictures that could jeopardize their future endeavors and career opportunities. However, now children under the age of 18 residing in California will be able to effectively travel back in time and delete those comments or posts.
The new law (SB 568) was signed by Governor Jerry Brown and will take effect on Jan 1, 2015. It requires companies, websites, and app developers to give kids who are under the age of 18 the option to delete a post or a comment. Proponents of the law believe that this law will offer groundbreaking cyber-protection for kids who are prone to act impulsively. When kids post inappropriate pictures and messages online, they often do so without considering the consequences of these actions. Sadly, this momentary lapse in judgment often haunts these teenagers for years to come—affecting job opportunities, personal relationships, college applications and more.
Yet not everyone is completely on-board with the new law. Legal analysts are unhappy with the language of the law—in particular, the “eraser” provision. The eraser provision is part of the Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World. It focuses on sites that are directed at minors and requires that these sites not compile or disclose any information about those minors. Legal analysts question what will be considered a site directed towards minors. Will Facebook and Twitter be considered? After all, they are not specifically geared towards minors.
Emma Llanso, an attorney at the Center for Democracy and Technology, is one of those who believe that the bill’s focus on sites that are directed at minors may leave many websites uncertain of their new obligations under the new law. This uncertainty, however, could have an unwanted ripple effect. Legal uncertainty regarding the new law may discourage operators from developing content for younger users and popular sites may begin to prohibit minors from using their services altogether. Additionally, sites that wish to remain in compliance with the law may actually collect more sensitive information about minors in order to determine who is allowed on the site and who is not.
While the new law may not be perfect, it does offer teenagers the chance to turn back time, and erase sensitive information that could jeopardize their future.
At Forensicon, we have the technology and the experience to assist your company or firm with all digital and electronic issues.To learn more about how our computer forensic specialists can assist your firm, call us at 1-888-427-5667 or visit us on the web at www.forensicon.com.
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