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California Proposes Internet Delete Button for Minors
By: Jessica Cherok
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At least one state is trying to make it easier for kids to control their personal information online. California has proposed legislation that would give minors the ability to delete their online activities. Sort of like an Internet do-over button.

The bill calls for “right-to-delete” where website users under the age of 18 are able to erase rants, tweets, pictures, and status updates as well as any other posted material that they are embarrassed about later. The current proposed legislation is limited to websites who have “actual knowledge” of minors using their site.

Considering the growing concerns about online privacy, as well as how detrimental rash Internet postings can be, the bill is a welcome step. Minors can often find themselves haunted by what they’ve posted online. The ability to delete content is a step toward giving them a clean slate.

The ability to delete isn’t entirely new, nor is it limited to minors. Both Facebook and Twitter already allow their users to delete, regardless of age or residency. But the California law would extend that ability to all of its minors across all websites.

The bill is a long way off from becoming law in California, and we’re even farther away from having any sort counterpart at a national level. Still, the continued discussion is a positive sign toward the eventuality of better control over personal information online.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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