Bill would ban charging fee for removing mug shots


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California would prohibit businesses from charging a fee to take mug shots off their websites under a bill moving through the Legislature.

The state Senate on Monday passed SB1027 by Democratic Sen. Jerry Hill of San Mateo on a 34-0 vote. It now moves to the Assembly.

Hill says websites that charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars to have people's booking photos removed are proliferating. He calls it extortion, "plain and simple."

He quoted figures from the state attorney general's office saying more than 930,000 Californians were arrested in 2011. Yet more than half of them were never convicted or had the charges dropped.

Hill says it's likely all those people have their mug shots online.

Five other states already have banned fees for removing mug shots.

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