New FL law could make it easier to remove mugshots from the web

Reporter: Morgan Rynor

People whose mugshots are currently splashed all over the web could soon see them taken down as a new Florida law goes into effect.

“My name was everywhere. I was like, ‘wow, how do I even start to put my life back together?'” said Barney Brown.

Brown was 14 when he was arrested for a crime he did not commit. And 38 years later, he was finally set free, only to return to numerous roadblocks.

“It was devastating. In fact, I was so devastated by it, I told my lawyers, I said, ‘look, I don’t know what I’m going to do, how I’m going to survive out here. I can’t get a job,'” Brown said. 

But a new law should be able to make that transition easier.

Websites like can no longer charge people to take down their photos. But some people don’t think it will be effective.

“The question is, will the website owners follow the law. If they don’t, it’s nearly impossible to force them to because it’s very simple for a website or web business to simply change domains,” said Elizete Velado, a Fort Myers attorney.

Velado adds that even if one website takes down someone’s information, it could already be in the hands of another.

“A lot of them will remove your information because they’re getting paid to do that, but that doesn’t mean the information no longer exists,” Velado said.

And Brown agrees. He’ll continue to seek an even stronger solution.

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