This last October we wrote an article about Google changing their algorithm to punish mugshot websites that were publishing people’s photographs. The article indicated that Google finally realized that these websites were not informative pages disclosing new information, but were simply capitalizing on our society’s voyeuristic tendencies. Google’s change forced these websites down in the search engine ranks but the sites were still there and were still generating income.
Now it is being reported that a settlement with bustedmugshots.com and mugshotsonline.com has been reached. These websites agreed to a monetary settlement and agreed to take the photos down. This is a victory for not only these people but for all other people who were paying the blackmail to have their identity removed from the website.
This settlement was reached in Ohio, but there are many other states with pending litigation. To our knowledge this was the first settlement.
One of the biggest mugshot websites mugshots.com was not a party to this suit.
I cannot tell you how much these websites frustrate me. They embarrass people who may not even have been convicted and almost blackmail those people who want to have their photos removed. I personally hope they continue to be sued and continue to settle.