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New Eraser Law Aims to Protect Minors on the Internet

January 20, 2014
By

ChildonComputer

We also know that more employers and college admission officers are checking out social media sites like Facebook, using the online profiles of applicants as part of the hiring or evaluation process.

Sen. Darrell Steinberg

California Senate President Pro Tem

California State Senate

Kids today use the Internet for a variety of practical reasons, from conducting research for a homework assignment to improving math skills with an educational game. Aside from serving as an academic tool, the Internet offers an even larger draw for young ones – a new and convenient way to socialize with friends and family.

With e-mail, gaming, video chatting, and of course, the expansive world of social media at their fingertips, minors often make the mistake of sharing too much and regretting what they’ve posted.

Recognizing the need for some restrictions, the California government is acting. Beginning in January 2015, a new law, dubbed the California Internet Eraser Law, or Senate Bill 568, will protect minors from making such impulsive mistakes. Authored by California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, SB 568 requires website operators to allow those under the age of 18 to remove their postings on the Internet and social media sites.

“We know that minors are spending more time online than ever before,” said Steinberg. “We also know that more employers and college admission officers are checking out social media sites like Facebook, using the online profiles of applicants as part of the hiring or evaluation process. A young person’s momentary lack of judgment can literally change the direction of his or her life.”

SB 568 also prohibits harmful advertising to children and adolescents.

“This bill will help keep minors from being bombarded with advertisements for harmful products that are illegal for them to use, like alcohol, tobacco and guns,”  Steinberg said. “These common sense protections will help our children as they navigate the online world.”

Signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Jan. 1, 2014, the Eraser Law’s requirements will take effect on Jan. 1, 2015, in order to give operators of internet sites, online services, online applications and mobile applications enough time to comply with the requirements.