How Mug Shots Made Me Wonder if They Are Violating Privacy Rights

Mug shot

Have you seen them, the mug shots of the recently arrested?

Do you ever wonder how a mug shot could look so great?

The answers to the above questions are probably yes and no because let’s be honest, no one’s mug shot looks good. So, let’s say you get arrested for something you did not do, eventually you are released and everyone apologizes. The next thing you know, a potential job is lost because your mug shot was found on a mug shot website.

Believe it or not, this is a true story reported by the Huffington Post. It is a pay-to-delete situation. In order for you to have your mug shot removed from the search engines, you have to pay money to the websites that collect them.

Is This Extortion or Public Safety?

Now let me be clear.  These are mug shots of people who have been arrested and not convicted. While we do want to know who the babysitter really is or the man who coaches our son’s little league team is, does it seem to going along with the whole innocent until proved guilty?

The Huffington Post reports:

The websites probably have a First Amendment right to publish the mug shots because this is lawfully obtained public information,” Ohio State University Moritz College of Law professor Daniel Tokaji in an email to HuffPost. “The practice of requiring payment to have them removed is unsavory, but probably not illegal.” The legality becomes murkier when sites maintain photos for years after the arrest — even if the charges were dropped or the defendant was found not guilty, said University of Toledo law school professor Llew Gibbons.

I love bringing it back to you. Do you think paying to have your mug shot removed from the Internet should be made illegal? Do you think someone should be able to publish your mug shot if you are not guilty?