SB 118 made its way through Florida Senate hearings last month. This proposed law will allow someone whose booking photo is on a site that offers payment for removal to “bring a civil action to enjoin the continued publication or dissemination of the photograph if the photograph is not removed within 10 calendar days after receipt of the written request for removal.” Furthermore the bill reads, “Refusal to remove an arrest booking photograph after written request has been made constitutes an unfair or deceptive trade practice in accordance with part II of chapter 501, Florida Statutes.”
The State of Texas filed a bill back in March looking to improve its existing law regulating mugshot sites. HB 4201 would reduce the legal mugshot removal fee from $150 to $0. As well as, prohibit a law enforcement agency from posting mugshots on a website “unless the person depicted in the photograph has been finally convicted for the offense in connection with which the photograph was taken.” The bill still allows for release of the records upon request. Refraining from publishing people’s mugshots en masse online until they are actually found guilty sounds like a good policy for all law enforcement agencies so please contact Texas lawmakers and ask that they support this legislation.
In case you’ve missed some of the recent news about mugshot sites, here are a few articles:
The Chicago Tribune reports a federal lawsuit seeking class action status out of Illinois.
The New York Times followed up on a 2013 piece, once again bringing the issue to Google’s attention. It looks like the website featured in this particular story (bailbondcity.com) is no longer ranking very high in google search results. Let’s hope the SEO downgrade is permanent. But in case it is not, please be aware the website’s “general manager” is capable of removing mugshots with a few clicks before you consider paying any of those go-between reputation companies:
Please help support the cause against the online mugshot extortion racket by asking your elected officials to pass 2017 legislation.