Google, payment providers take action against firms profiting from mug shots

As if getting arrested isn’t problematic enough, it turns out that the advent of the internet age has made it considerably worse. A cottage industry of companies scraping and reposting local police departments’ websites for mug shots has popped up over the past several years, keeping the specter of a past run-in with the law no further than a Google search away unless a fee — which can run in the hundreds of dollars — is paid to have the shot taken down. For serious crimes, permanently spreading a mug shot far and wide isn’t necessarily a bad thing; for minor offenses, it can make the difference between landing and losing a job.

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