The mugshot extortion industry claims it provides a public service – and can provide other services – like making the mugshots they publish go away – for a price. The practices have been widely decried.
Now, the websites have run afoul of payment processors – the companies that process the payments from people who pay hundreds of dollars to have photographs removed. And face growing scrutiny from lawmakers and attorneys. Legislators in Utah have, for example, forbidden sheriff’s offices from giving mugshots to sites that will charge to take them down. A lawyer in Ohio has filed a class-action lawsuit against some of the sites accusing them of extortion and violating people’s “right of publicity,” a state statute similar to the one that got Facebook sued for using people’s profile pics in ‘Sponsored Stories.’
Read more at Forbes.