More Troubling Proposed Anti-Social Networking Laws: CA Wants Photo Removal Law
from the get-over-it dept
It’s amazing what sort of laws politicians will come up with when they overreact to something that new technology allows, without bothering to understand the issue. It appears some California state politicians are upset about the fact that people are uploading photos and videos to social networking sites, and those photos may reveal something the subject of the photo wouldn’t like. So, they want to require any site that allows uploads of images or videos to be required to take down that content on request of a subject in that content. Yes, even if the photo or video were taken in public.
In looking over text of the bill (warning: pdf), it looks like the original idea was worse: that social networking sites would be required to prevent anyone from copying an image off of a website. It looks like someone explained to the bill’s sponsor how that’s impossible. However, even though the bill claims that it’s aimed at photos of people who had an expectation of privacy, that doesn’t appear to be anywhere in the actual text. Instead, sites would be required to take down content on the request of anyone in the image. Sites would also be responsible for verifying that the takedown request came from the person actually in the photo, though there’s no mechanism to determine how. It’s also not clear how to deal with photos that involve multiple people.
But, honestly, what’s most unclear… is why such a law is needed in the first place? It seems like a major hassle for no good reason whatsoever — especially in an era where taking photos and sharing them has become the norm for many people.