A new law to protect minors from their own online history by creating an online “eraser button” is expected to come into full effect in California by 2015.
The legislation will require every web site, app and online service used by minors to provide underage users the option of erasing all information that they may have posted. The idea behind this new law is to give minors the ability to erase all information which may be seen by future colleagues and employers when they enter the job market as adults.
Non-profit group Common Sense Media were amongst the most vocal supporters for the law. In a letter to California governor Jerry Brown, Common Sense Media founder stated that minors are prone to sharing information without first reflecting on the consequences. The aim of the new law is to ensure that these over-sharing minors aren’t haunted by their youthful indiscretions later.
The limitation to this law is that the ‘eraser button’ will only remove content posted by the minor, so any content posted by other users will be unaffected. A further limitation of the law is that although the data will be erased from the internet, the law does not require that the minor’s data be erased from servers, which means the information could still technically be found by someone who knew where to look. Whatever the case, websites and apps now have until January 2015 to provide the erase option to their young users.