Submitted by Reputation Stars.
Imagine you are performing a search for your name one day when you come across a part of your life that you thought was buried. Mugshots are stored on databases, accessible by anyone who uses the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) to request information about you. Databases like Mugshots.com utilize any kind of public data to make queries about you. You could avoid getting in trouble, of course, but hindsight is always 20/20. Instead, try these tips and do not panic.
The Ugly Side of the Freedom of Information Act
Using the FoIA, anyone can solicit information on you. That means someone can learn your arrest records, view mugshots, property taxes, addresses and other data points about you. The Freedom of Information Act was designed to protect journalists and grant transparency to the public. This is a twist on that legislation, a rather ugly side of otherwise well-meaning regulation.
Why Asking Won’t Work
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably considered just handling this yourself and contacting the webmaster. That won’t work for a few reasons:
- Money: The webmaster is making money off your mugshot. There is no incentive to remove it. They may however request that you pay a fee for removal, which is a bad idea, because right after you pay, your mugshot may show up on other sites, as many of these sites share info with each other and inform each other about paying customers, so they can extort more money from you.
- Protection: The webmaster understands the law is on his side, so there is no reason to fear retribution from legal threats.
- Anonymity: The webmaster can utilize private hosting that masks their information.
Options and Ideas
Your best course of action is a long term strategy. First, focus on removing your mugshot from the website in question. Next, begin rebuilding your reputation and owning the search real estate around your name. The better presence you have on page one, the less of a chance an employer would dig deeper looking for something to discredit you.
You can hire a lawyer, but they are often more expensive than utilizing a mugshot removal service. Paying one website for removal is also a bandage because there is nothing stopping that site from reposting elsewhere. If anonymous users posted the picture, they are likely monitoring for removal and ready to re-post. Most reputation management companies offer mugshot removal services and can offer services for immediate removal.
Article written by Reputation Stars, a reputation management company. If you are looking for a mugshots removal service check out the Reputation Stars website. They also provide other reputation monitoring services.