California enacts 'eraser' bill to allow online footprints to be deleted

A new law has been enacted in California requiring social media websites to allow California children under age 18 to remove their own postings from January 2015.

The law requires sites to allow under 18s to delete their past

The law, dubbed the ‘eraser’ bill is the first in the US intended to allow people – especially younger people- to remove their social media footprint if it may lead to problems in adult life.

California Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on Monday.

"Kids and teens deserve the right to make mistakes without penalties for their entire lives," said James Steyer, chief executive of Common Sense Media.

"This is the beginning of the reframing of the privacy issue when it comes to kids and teens, to let them control their own information and correct their mistakes.

"Just because you post a semi-naked picture of yourself at age 15 doesn't mean it should haunt you for the rest of your life or prevent you from getting into college, getting a job or ruin your reputation with your peers," he said.

Whilst many sites already permit deletion, the new law requires all sites to facilitate deletion for users under 18.

Senate leader Darrell Steinberg who actioned the bill said children deserve the right to remove material that could haunt them for years to come.

">Delete image via Shutterstock

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