THE BLOG

The Legal Right to Delete Stupidity

10/31/2013 10:55 am ET | Updated Dec 31, 2013

Anyone who is online and has ever posted something or sent something or liked something has a regret or two. And if you don't have a regret, you're arrogant and pompous and think way too highly of yourself and your musings.

Anyway, recalling a digital boner isn't always easy. And now, when you hit enter or send, it's pretty much a lost cause. But a new California law aims to make it a tad easier...but honestly, I think it will be a false fix and make people think they have more control while again, they don't.

Ars Technica reports, "California has put into place the first state law that requires companies, websites and app developers to give kids under the age of 18 the option to delete a post. The law (SB 568), which was signed by Governor Jerry Brown [and] takes effect on January 1, 2015, imposes onto web companies and app makers this new requirement." The article goes on to quote the law, including what those firms will be required to do: "Provide clear instructions to a minor who is a registered user of the operator's internet website, online service, online application or mobile application on how the user may remove or, if the operator prefers, request and obtain the removal of content or information posted on the operator's internet website, online service, online application or mobile application."

It's a mouthful, but here's the deal: digital is forever; digital is repeatable; digital can be copied and pasted; and digital is subject to screenshots, shares and forwards. Digital begins with you, but it never ends.

Deleting stupidity is like killing mosquitoes: It's just a matter of time until you get bitten again. Being aware, smart and conscious about what you post online is using your noggin and playing it safe. Never post in anger or under the influence of mind-altering substances, as nothing you post in that state of mind ever reads right sober. Trust me on that one.

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to Hotspot Shield VPN. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning America. Disclosures. For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247.