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 76.

    "Good, If you don't want that responsibility then you should not host a forum. Though, I can't see why it makes it more expensive since mods on small communities are normally unpaid."

    You clearly don't much like people talking. The powers-that-be would appear to agree with you. If mods are going to become legally liable to do prompt work, they probably will need to be paid

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 75.

    74. Paul wrote: I think there is a high probability that the law is intended to make hosting a discussion forum more difficult & expensive

    ####

    Good

    If you don't want that responsibility then you should not host a forum.

    Though, I can't see why it makes it more expensive since mods on small communities are normally unpaid.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 74.

    I think there is a high probability that the law is intended to make hosting a discussion forum more difficult & expensive

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 73.

    The problem is that many sites have no real way of verifying the age of its users (Credit Cards are unpopular for multiple reasons) ... this leads to young teens or children, posting in forums or setting up accounts that perhaps are not really suitable. We are maybe going to have to accept this is the price we pay for an Internet.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 72.

    On second thoughts, since under-18s aren't allowed to vote, drink, have a bank account, own real property etc, perhaps they should not, in their own right, be allowed to publish anything either. That would include web posts.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 71.

    "Californian law gives teens right to delete web posts"

    ==

    It's a bit like a law giving us "the right" to clear up our own litter, dog crap etc.

    Hardly a big deal, what?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 70.

    #32 Puss
    "HR managers now routinely trawl the cyber-profiles of prospective employees."
    I haven't friended anyone who works in HR, so how do they do this? Without hacking or breaking the law, that is.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 69.

    @58 Anxious
    As a UK Citizen, I must be registered for voting (Council).
    The data SHOULD have been mine but councils were told that they needed to make a profit from the register.
    Private details were SOLD.
    *
    You just need to tick the opt-out box. Since moving house 3 yrs ago, I havent had any junk mail at all.

    As for the main story, yet another example of why I avoid the awful social media fad!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 68.

    “…not have to remove content posted, or reposted, by others.”

    So if one posts something foolish and it is then reposted by someone else (as it probably will be), there is no redress?

    This sounds as sensible as David Cameron’s latest foray into cyber privacy.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 67.

    Why does it so often take years for law to catch up to common sense? If a person (of any age) posts something they should have the right to delete it.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 66.

    A lot of Facebook pages will now 'shrink' dramatically

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 65.

    Why only teens? Why only content? Shouldn't we all be able to insist on all of our data being deleted?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 64.

    Does this mean that after it is deleted it just didn't exist? Once posted it is too late to delete completely from memory or copies so just what is the point?
    Posts online are there because people of all ages use the net and it isn't the under 18s who abuse the system most. Look at 'Facebook', 'Tweets' etc. and soap opera domestic violence if you want to start deleting.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 63.

    Didn't the BBC just post something on adulthood starting at 25?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 62.

    All info should belong to the poster and therefore be able to be deleted. These guys who say it doesn't belong to the poster after it is posted should be run off of the internet.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 61.

    The US and UK have vastly different internet experiences, and the majority of NA users simply wouldn't put up with the way things are done in England, the net nanny state of all time behind China. The internet has always been a dangerous place, and it always will be, just like a great big highway filled with traffic. As long as the Anarchist's Cookbook is widely available, the net will pulse.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 60.

    A regulatory system needs to be devised where the individual has visibility of their information, who has permission to access it and who has accessed it. Unfortunately, those that we might have previously trusted to create and administer it, our governments, have been caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 59.

    Barclays is to start selling information about 13 million customers' spending habits to other companies, and has admitted it could share the data with government departments and MPs.

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/jun/24/barclays-bank-sell-customer-data

    "Private and Confidential" statements / data held about us are now the property of Big Buisness &R all For Sale

    Privacy has gone.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 58.

    57 cont
    As a UK Citizen, I must be registered for voting (Council).
    The data SHOULD have been mine but councils were told that they needed to make a profit from the register.
    Private details were SOLD.

    DVLA and other agencies has illegally sold our private data over many years until it is the "normal" practice.
    UK.gov continues bad practices, even though phone hacking has been an awakening call.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 57.

    @56.gweilomike The real question is, "To whom does the data on these websites belong?"
    =======
    Good question.

    I received a letter saying "We are data holders and have information about you that we must advise you about. If you wish to see that data government allows us to charge reasonablle fees (£2-00) to cover our cost.If the data is wrong you have to pay us a fee to correct it.

    A Big Con !?

 

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