Do you have something you regret on the Internet? That picture that was posted of you that will ruin your future run for president? (Cough.) Or that comment you talked mess about your significant other? Well, if you're a minor in California, it's about to get a little easier to wipe your online past clean.
Governor Jerry Brown has just signed in a law that will require Internet companies, starting in 2015, to place a special delete button on their pages that will allow minors to request their information to be removed. That goes for anything that's simply embarrassing or the outright scandalous. This new "eraser" law was built around the idea that these kids shouldn't have the mistakes of their youth posted online forever. "Kids so often self-reveal before they self-reflect," says James Steyer, the founder of Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group in the Bay Area that supports the new law. "Mistakes can stay with teens for life, and their digital footprint can follow them wherever they go."
It's not a total solution though: if your friend posts a picture of you downing a shot of tequila, and you're underage, that's not covered by the law. It has to be something that you post yourself. If that image is copied and placed on another website, same thing. Also, the companies aren't required to completely delete the information from their servers, just remove it from being online. But it's one step that can be added on to later in the future, and will give users more control over their digital identities.
[via SF Gate]