THE INTERNET VERSION OF A MAFIA SHAKEDOWN?
November 27, 2012
(MONROE, WA) -- You have a picture taken of you. A picture you do not want taken…at a police station somewhere.
Think you'll ever get a good paying job once that headhunter or potential employer finds your mugshot and info about your arrest on the Internet?
It is your mug shot. Your arrest shot.
But later, you may be exonerated of whatever crime you were charged with. Maybe the charges were dropped before there ever was a trial.
Now you find your mug shot on a website. You tell the website – which is a mugshot website that does nothing but post mug shots – that you want it taken down because you have been exonerated or were never charged to begin with.
The website says sure. For $400. You give us $400 dude (or more) and we take down your photo.
Sound like a low level Mafia shakedown to you?
Some people think it is.
“That’s the dilemma facing people across the country as a backlash rises against mug-shot websites that demand that people pay up to have their pictures removed, even if they were never convicted of a crime.
Websites like Mugshots.com and Arrests.org have collected millions of mug shots by scraping police department websites, and if innocent arrestees want their photos taken down, they have to spend anywhere from $399 to $1,479,” says a new report on thedaily.com.
And the other option, says the report is just as bad and as embarrassing and one that could kill your budding career – leaving the photo up there “to stay near the top of their Google results for years.”
There outghta be a law, you say? Well there isn’t.
Now you know what they mean when they say technology is moving so fast the legal system can't keep up with it. This is just one of many examples where there are no laws to protect people from any number of abuses on the Internet and there are few, if any politicians running to the front lines of the battle to help you out here.
Your only option – if you have deep pockets – is to spend the family inheritance to sue.
One Florida attorney says this new mug shot game is nothing more than legalized extortion.
One reputation watchdog company employee says the most concerning part of Mugshots.com for instance, “Is that your picture is posted immediately after the arrest, so even if you are never convicted of the crime, your mug shot will still be immortalized on the Internet.”
Think this can’t happen to you?
Then read the story of Sophia Andrade here and then go weep softly into the night as you pray you never have to go through a nasty divorce.
Note: there is a website called classactionagainstmugshotwebsites.com that is trying to put together a class action lawsuit to shut these mug shot websites down.
Check them out here