Noah J Nelson on Thursday, Apr. 10th
Remember back in school when teachers and principals would threaten you with “the permanent record?”
“You better watch yourself! Step out of line and it goes on your permanent record!”
Somehow that’s what we’ve turned the World Wide Web into: the permanent record. Every off-color joke, drunk selfie, and bad dating profile is a ticking time bomb ready to destroy the fragile civilized façade you’ve so carefully constructed.
Unless you’re a California minor on January 1st of next year, in which case you are OFF. THE. HOOK.
That’s right. Minors in California will benefit from a revision to the California Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) that gives them the right to remove potentially damaging content from internet services. Richard Byrne Rielly of VentureBeat reports:
The update means 18 year-olds and younger can remove incriminating party pictures or most other content they’ve posted in the past that could someday come back to haunt them. Or compromise job opportunities, since social media is often the first stop for job recruiters and companies looking at potential candidates.
The revision also imposes fines and restrictions for online operators and apps specifically advertising to minors. The fines, if levied, will amount to $2,500 per violation. That means no adverts shilling guns, tobacco, or fireworks, for example.
This is a rather sane step forward: adolescence is the time for making stunningly bad decisions that teach you what not to do in later life. Having said choices haunt you forever should be reserved only for truly sociopathic acts: not being an idiot on Instagram.