60. What can I do about my mug shot appearing online?

Many for-profit websites publish mug shots, along with the accompanying arrest information. Internet mug shot companies acquire this information from arresting agencies. Many websites advertise that they will remove your mug shot for a fee, but your photo may reappear on another website owned by the same company. Generally, the for-profit websites are not subject to the same laws and regulations as private background check companies.

In 2013, the Georgia General Assembly passed a law to address mug shot companies that charge a fee to remove photos when the underlying arrest did not result in a conviction. Under the new law, mug shot companies may not charge you a fee to remove the photo if your arrest is eligible for restriction or if it has been restricted. The law requires you to send a written request to the mug shot company to remove your photo. The request should include your name, date of birth, arrest date, and the name of the arresting agency.

In 2014, the Georgia General Assembly passed another law to address this issue.  The new law, effective July 1, 2014, prevents mug shot companies from accessing booking photos for the purpose of publishing the photos online and charging a fee for removal.  The new law also prohibits the online posting of mug shots by law enforcement agencies.

Posted in: Private Background Checks