LegalScrub™ - "Take your privacy back" - [Internet Privacy & Data Erasure]. The RIGHT to be forgotten!
We are living in a DATABASE NATION. What does that mean? It means, just about every company you do business with is wanting to track and record you, monitor, and harvest your data. Many companies want to sell your data to marketing companies. Yes, they will tell you not to worry, if you didn't do anything wrong you should have nothing to care about, and they will also say "this is for your own good as we can personalize advertisements to you." Yes, just what we all need, more ads, more websites trying to drop "cookies" on us, more companies storing your personal data only to be subject to a data breach that can expose your personal information. Yes, there are privacy laws in the United States and a new one in Europe (GDPR), but there are many loopholes that allow businesses to disclose, collect and use/disclose your personal information with third parties. We all know companies like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Amazon.com, eBay and others have a large amount of personal information (stored in databases or data warehouses) and we know the major search engines (ex. google) also have the ability to track your online web surfing behaviors which has promoted many people resort to sites like DuckDuckGo (which I use) and VPN's, (ex. Nord) and tools such as Tor, just to have a sense of privacy and anonymity on the internet. But these days, it seems it is becoming harder and harder to stay anonymous.
Moreover, the internet has created new opportunities for companies to gather and post information about you (whether you like it or not) and many times people don't even know it is going on. Websites like PeopleFinders or SpokeO and a 100 others have collected public records information and will sell it for a fee online. Do you know what data they are selling about you? Is it accurate? Is it personal and private? Do you want your life to be an open book for anyone that wants to pay for it, all without even a small fee being paid to you for using your information as a commodity. What are the credit bureaus sharing? What is credit header data? Do you want the ads to stop? The tracking and surveillance to stop? Do you want personal control of your name, image, and likeness? Do you want to know who is collecting what and sharing with who? Do you want to TAKE DOWN unflattering photos and images, and negative (often defamatory posts about you)? This is why I have created LegalScrub - to help you own the rights to your own persona to the extent possible.
This blog discusses our services. Contact us to discuss your individual or corporate needs.
- We search the internet and social media looking for instances of your name, image and likeness (referred to as "Right of Publicity")
- Where appropriate, we send takedown letters (photos you own the rights to can be taken down under the DMCA), for example older unflattering photos when you were younger
- False and defamatory postings can be addressed (libel on the internet)
- We can seek to find unwanted references to your name and request deletion of that data on privacy grounds
- We can review forums, discussion boards, review sites, wayback machine (internet archive) and seek to remove data that violates your rights
- We can contact Consumer Companies who are subject to the California "Right to be forgotten" law and demand access to your data and exercise your rights under the law
- We can help remove data from the internet, and/or seek to reduce inflammatory posts to just your initials (for privacy)
- We can help you delete data that may impact your job search
These are just a list of general things we can do to help you retain a sense of digital privacy which is only going to get worse as our world explodes with more applications, online services, and technologies that seek to harness your information for their gain, not yours.
Who can benefit from our service?
Here is a list of potential persons who can benefit from our services (this is not an exclusive list)
- Parents who want privacy for their kids (ex. under the COPPA laws designed to protect children under 13 from unlawful data collection)
- Public figures who want to clean up false and negative information, photos, memes on the internet before running for office, or during their term
- Local, state and federal politicians who want to clean up false and negative information, photos, memes on the internet before running for office, or during their terms
- Business owners trying to remove false and defamatory reviews, articles and stories from the internet
- Private persons who seek to maintain a "low profile"
- Job seekers who want to make sure employers will find a clean candidate (often times they search the internet before hiring)
Types of content that may be removable
Here are some of the common types of data and information you may seek to have edited, removed, and taken down (this is not an exclusive list)
- Arrest stories from your younger days (ex. the DUI you expunged or juvenile records)
- Stories discussing huge bonus a CEO received (people want financial privacy)
- False criminal accusations
- Fake news stories about you or your company
- Stories or online posts (ex. obituaries) where families want privacy and not to be contacted
- Revenge porn online posting of film or video clips or sexual inappropriate pictures (for revenge purposes)
- Publication of private information that has no legitimate purpose (tort of publication of private facts)
- Content that violates your right of publicity (if you are a model, and someone is using your photo commercially in their images, you may be entitled to compensation
- False and misleading "news" (often fake news) about a company in an effort to commit industrial espionage or sabotage
- Geolocation data
- Facial scan data
- Other content with no legitimate newsworthy purpose (example financial information when couples are fighting on facebook during a divorce).
California minors data erasure law:
A. California Business and Professions Code Section 22581
(a) An operator of an Internet Web site, online service, online application, or mobile application directed to minors or an operator of an Internet Web site, online service, online application, or mobile application that has actual knowledge that a minor is using its Internet Web site, online service, online application, or mobile application shall do all of the following:
(1) Permit a minor who is a registered user of the operator's Internet Web site, online service, online application, or mobile application to remove or, if the operator prefers, to request and obtain removal of, content or information posted on the operator's Internet Web site, online service, online application, or mobile application by the user.
(2) Provide notice to a minor who is a registered user of the operator's Internet Web site, online service, online application, or mobile application that the minor may remove or, if the operator prefers, request and obtain removal of, content or information posted on the operator's Internet Web site, online service, online application, or mobile application by the registered user.
(3) Provide clear instructions to a minor who is a registered user of the operator's Internet Web site, 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 Web site, online service, online application, or mobile application.
(4) Provide notice to a minor who is a registered user of the operator's Internet Web site, online service, online application, or mobile application that the removal described under paragraph (1) does not ensure complete or comprehensive removal of the content or information posted on the operator's Internet Web site, online service, online application, or mobile application by the registered user.
(b) An operator or a third party is not required to erase or otherwise eliminate, or to enable erasure or elimination of, content or information in any of the following circumstances:
(1) Any other provision of federal or state law requires the operator or third party to maintain the content or information.
(2) The content or information was stored on or posted to the operator's Internet Web site, online service, online application, or mobile application by a third party other than the minor, who is a registered user, including any content or information posted by the registered user that was stored, republished, or reposted by the third party.
(3) The operator anonymizes the content or information posted by the minor who is a registered user, so that the minor who is a registered user cannot be individually identified.
(4) The minor does not follow the instructions provided to the minor pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) on how the registered user may request and obtain the removal of content or information posted on the operator's Internet Web site, online service, online application, or mobile application by the registered user.
(5) The minor has received compensation or other consideration for providing the content.
(c) This section shall not be construed to limit the authority of a law enforcement agency to obtain any content or information from an operator as authorized by law or pursuant to an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(d) An operator shall be deemed compliant with this section if:
(1) It renders the content or information posted by the minor user no longer visible to other users of the service and the public even if the content or information remains on the operator's servers in some form.
(2) Despite making the original posting by the minor user invisible, it remains visible because a third party has copied the posting or reposted the content or information posted by the minor.
(e) This section shall not be construed to require an operator of an Internet Web site, online service, online application, or mobile application to collect age information about users.
(f) “Posted” means content or information that can be accessed by a user in addition to the minor who posted the content or information, whether the user is a registered user or not, of the Internet Web site, online service, online application, or mobile application where the content or information is posted.
(Added by Stats. 2013, Ch. 336, Sec. 1. (SB 568) Effective January 1, 2014. Section operative January 1, 2015, pursuant to Section 22582.)
B. THE RIGHT TO ACCESS DATA UNDER THE CALIFORNIA CONSUMER PRIVACY ACT ("CCPA")
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(a) A consumer shall have the right to request that a business that collects a consumer's personal information disclose to that consumer the categories and specific pieces of personal information the business has collected.
(b) A business that collects a consumer's personal information shall, at or before the point of collection, inform consumers as to the categories of personal information to be collected and the purposes for which the categories of personal information shall be used. A business shall not collect additional categories of personal information or use personal information collected for additional purposes without providing the consumer with notice consistent with this section.
(c) A business shall provide the information specified in subdivision (a) to a consumer only upon receipt of a verifiable consumer request.
(d) A business that receives a verifiable consumer request from a consumer to access personal information shall promptly take steps to disclose and deliver, free of charge to the consumer, the personal information required by this section. The information may be delivered by mail or electronically, and if provided electronically, the information shall be in a portable and, to the extent technically feasible, in a readily useable format that allows the consumer to transmit this information to another entity without hindrance. A business may provide personal information to a consumer at any time, but shall not be required to provide personal information to a consumer more than twice in a 12-month period.
(e) This section shall not require a business to retain any personal information collected for a single, one-time transaction, if such information is not sold or retained by the business or to reidentify or otherwise link information that is not maintained in a manner that would be considered personal information.
(Amended (as added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 55, Sec. 3) by Stats. 2018, Ch. 735, Sec. 1. (SB 1121) Effective September 23, 2018. Section operative January 1, 2020, pursuant to Section 1798.198.)
Costs will depend on the nature of the client and the scope of the research and monitoring involved. We will send you monthly alerts to your email advising you of our progress. Results cannot be guaranteed, but we will do everything within our power to protect your online persona using the laws that are available. Letters coming from a law firm have to be taken serious especially if the law is being violated.
Contact us for more information
If you want to take control of your identity online, contact us at (877) 276-5084 for more information, or email us through our contact form. We have been practicing law since 2004 and have a strong track record of success protecting our clients.