Californian law gives teens right to delete web posts

 
Young girl on laptop Teenagers often post first and think later

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California has passed a law that will enable under-18s to make websites delete their personal information.

The law, which will take effect in 2015, only covers content, including photos, generated by the individual.

Companies will not have to remove content posted, or reposted, by others. Nor will they have to remove the information from their servers.

The legislation has been welcomed by Common Sense Media, a charity that promotes children's digital privacy.

"Teens often self-reveal before they self-reflect and may post sensitive personal information about themselves - and about others - without realising the consequences," said chief executive James Steyer in a blog post.

A Pew survey indicated 59% of US youngsters with a social-media profile had deleted or edited something they had posted, and 19% had posted comments, photos or updates they later regretted sharing.

Right to be forgotten

Back in May, Google chairman Eric Schmidt said the internet needed a "delete button".

But not everyone believes it is a good idea.

US think tank the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) is concerned websites will not understand what their legal obligations are.

"Our chief concern is that this legal uncertainty will discourage operators from developing content and services tailored to younger users, and will lead popular sites and services that may appeal to minors to prohibit minors from using their services," said CDT's policy counsel Emma Llanso.

In 2010 the European Commission drew up legislation to allow citizens the "right to be forgotten" but recently a judge ruled websites were not responsible for personal data appearing on their pages. And some experts think the ruling means the legislation is unlikely to go ahead.

 

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 36.

    Wow!

    This is so much more important than Syria, Kenya, Egypt, Merkel...

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 35.

    Rather pointless law if it doesn't delete contents on others sites or at least the server.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 34.

    Good idea in principle,but how about Dad & mum having input too?
    After all,that is what parents are there for,to protect their children!
    Aren`t they?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 33.

    The biggest issue with this law is that it is a California state law, meaning internet companies based outside of California, and quite commonly, outside the United States, have little to no incentive to follow a law from a jurisdiction outside of their own...

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 32.

    I'm over 50, and a 'respectable' university lecturer, and I thank my lucky stars that social media sites were not around when I was young (I'm sure that certain members of the Bullingdon club feel the same). HR managers now routinely trawl the cyber-profiles of prospective employees. I'd be stacking shelves if they'd seen some of the things I got up to.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 31.

    I know this is a California law, so by definition six months after its established it'll be voted out by a referendum, but if all someone needs to do is repost another person's photo (see: tumblr) to keep it in cyberspace forever what's the point? Of course Minors + Internet = F.U.B.A.R., but the idea that you can "erase" a photo once it goes viral is just that ... an idea, right?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 30.

    Some more www.non.sense. Every decent BBS, forum lets the original user delete his, her own posts. What's the big deal? How are you going to perform on-line age validation anyway? Rather educate the parents to use and properly configure PG filters.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 29.

    The law, which will take effect in 2015, only covers content, including photos, generated by the individual.
    ----------------
    So if someone records a webcam of someone undressed this wont be covered and they can't do a thing about it?

    As usual the old grey lawmakers are left choking in the digital dust

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 28.

    And how are they going to prove their age?

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 27.

    Thre is no such thing as "The Internet". It is a network of those networks which share a common addressing system and set of inter-operability protocols. Hence the reason it is so difficult to delete msaterial that has been copied and retrnamitted by others. That said, this is a good (and overdue) idea.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 26.

    CREATIVE LIVING AWARENESS WELFARE (CLAW):

    What and what to be debated from website of a social media as like as Face book. By doing so the glamor of the site can damaged because people of all age groups use such social sites. Hence elders should care to monitor and check their non-adult younger ones avoid using sites that may not be recommendable to them (younger ones).

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 25.

    "When something is free and you're not the customer, it's because you're the product."

    another tech firm apologist, you dont get the internet.we are customers, we use the service, that makes us customers

    just like visa and mastercard, appear free, but wea re customers

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 24.

    Efficacy aside, the law demonstrates that lawmakers are starting to realize the power of social media and the need for at least some laws to regulate it to protect our youth.

    But to actually protect the not-insignificant portion of underage (pre-teens) and teen users of social media means finding a cure for inattentive parents and peer pressure. Not something you can do with laws.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 23.

    I've said some very cringe-worthy things on past BBC HYS articles, can I remove them soon?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 22.

    Add your comment...
    teach our children well.start young and make sure you know it yourself.
    there is work to do. lots of it.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 21.

    All this law is doing is taking responsibility away from the user, which is in fact at this age, indirectly, the parents.

    Coupled with the fact this only covers content and will not include reposts (twitter, facebook) this seem inedibly pointless.

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 20.

    Gee, it's not that hard to make something deletable (or just editable will do); and it doesn't take a new law to make it happen. What beggars belief is that there is not already a way to remove what is posted on the internet.

    And while I'm here, why can't I edit my posts on the BBC News site?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 19.

    I need a filter to stop me from posting potentially libellous comments before they enter the public domain, When one reads a news article that offends them, sober or otherwise, occasionally a knee-jerk response is thrown back. When people are loosing their jobs or worse over internet comments, then there is obviously a problem in the system or the law. We are only human and we will have our say.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 18.

    Sorry, but once it's out there, it's there forever.

    Perhaps what we should all learn to do, is to sensibly assess other people's silly episodes and comments, taking into account such things as the age of the twit at the time, and how long ago they said or did something silly.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 17.

    I am trying make Amrica broadcasting corporation make an anagram of british broadcasting corporation but the advertisers won't let me.

 

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