Occasionally, legislation will be introduced to regulate the practice of businesses charging consumers to have mug shots removed from web sites. CDIA does not oppose these bills in general if these bills are narrowly focused on any perceived problem without a broad application to public records or criminal background checks for employment. Two states, California and Missouri, political and geographic opposites, passed laws in 2014 that create a narrowly tailored and favorable focus on the mug shot issue.
California law (§ 1798.91.1) makes it an “unlawful practice for any person engaged in publishing or otherwise disseminating a booking photograph through a print or electronic medium to solicit, require, or accept the payment of a fee or other consideration from a subject individual to remove, correct, modify, or to refrain from publishing or otherwise disseminating that booking photograph.”
Missouri law (§ 407.1150) made it illegal “for any person engaged in publishing or otherwise disseminating criminal record information through a print or electronic medium to solicit or accept from a subject individual the payment of a fee or other consideration to remove or correct criminal record information.”
Eric J. Ellman is Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) in Washington, DC. He also served for eight months as Interim President and CEO of the Association. More