Under legislation proposed by Rep. Carl Zimmerman (D-Palm Harbor), WTSP.com could face legal repercussions if the suspect in the above booking photo was not convicted and WTSP.com then ignored his request to have the picture removed from the website.
TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) - A Florida legislator wants websites to delete arrest photos if the person is later found not guilty or if the charges are dropped.
Rep. Carl Zimmerman, D-Palm Harbor, this week filed the bill that requires all websites to delete arrest photos - or mugshots as they are called - within 15 days of being notified that the charges did not result in a conviction.
The bill (HB 677) would subject the website operator to fines and even a defamation lawsuit if they did not comply with the request. The website could not charge anything to remove the photo.
Zimmerman, who teaches broadcast journalism to high school students, said people have the right to publish information but they should take it down once it is proven false.