Mug shot sites can’t charge for removal under House bill

Private companies that lift mug shots from government sites and charge people to take them down will have to find a new business model under legislation approved by the state House on Thursday.

House Bill 150, sponsored by Rep. Roger Bruce, D-Atlanta, bars private companies from charging people who are exonerated from having their mug shot removed from their web site. It passed the House 165-3.

The bill, Bruce said, is “a truly bipartisan effort to stop the exploitation of our citizens by these companies who put mug shots out on the Internet and in publications that they have essentially stolen.”

People who are arrested but later found not guilty or have their case dismissed were being charged as much as $8,000 to have their mug shot removed, Bruce said.

“We just want to stop the exploitation,” he said. “It will make it illegal for them charge you to remove a photograph from one of these sites.”