Mug Shots are big business on the Internet. Depending on where you live, if you get arrested your mug shot will forever be generating ad revenue for some skeevy website that collects mugshots.
The knee jerk reaction is to not feel much sympathy for criminals, but notice that word in the above paragraph.
Innocent until proven guilty really doesn’t mean much if your mug shot is on the first page of a Google search for your name. I can think of several ways that this is simply wrong.
1. Innocent until proven guilty. The fact that you were arrested really means nothing. If the charges are dropped 2 weeks later the episode should go away. That isn’t going to happen if your mug shot pops up every time an employer or date checks you out online.
2. Also, the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. A guy busted with a misdemeanor public intoxication fine at age 22 shouldn’t have to explain that booking photo to a potential employer, or his fiancé’s father, 10 year later.
3. Also, as mentioned in the linked article, this reeks of the public stockade. Granted, the government isn’t posting the pictures (except when it is) so there probably isn’t much anybody can do about it. The article mentions copyrighting the photos. I’m sure that will help, as the Internet shows great respect for copyright, said no one ever.
I sense a business opportunity developing fake Internet profiles for people that want to move their mug shots down to 30 or 40 on Google. Or maybe it won’t matter, since once everybody has a mug shot online it simply will stop being notable.
And no, I don’t have a mug shot online. Don’t bother looking. I’ve never been arrested.