New Bill Aims to Shut Down Mug-Shot Removal Websites

Proposed Illinois legislation would ban websites that post arrest booking photos and seek monetary compensation for their removal. The bill targets at least a half dozen websites that obtain the photos, which are public records, and give users the option to remove them from the website at varying costs. Some websites charge $100 to $300 depending on the speed of removal. For example, an individual charged with DUI could find his mugshot posted on these websites before the case is even resolved (possibly with a not guilty verdict). He may be asked to pay $300 to have the information removed within 24 hours. Although many of the websites claim that they will remove the information at no cost if the case is ultimately dismissed, it is up to the defendant to contact the website. The legislation was supported unanimously by both Illinois houses in May. If the bill is signed by Governor Pat Quinn, websites and other media outlets that solicit or accept money to remove criminal arrest information could face dissolution, suspension or fines up to $50,000 among other civil sanctions.

Legislation targets mug shot-removal websites, www.dailyherald.com, June 9, 2013

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