Haunted by a mugshot: how predatory websites exploit the shame of arrest

Gregory Rakoczy was asleep in his van at a Maryland campsite when six police officers knocked on his door. A fellow camper had Googled his name and found a mugshot indicating he was a felon on the run. He was not.

Rakoczy was arrested and held for 20 hours. Afterward he immediately Googled his own name and found that his picture had recently gone up on Mugshots.com for criminal charges he had faced 15 years ago.

At that time Rakoczy ran a company that installed audiovisual equipment in homes. He was charged with fraud after his firm sold dozens of clients one model of TV but installed a different one – a mistake he said was made by a distributor, but one he should have noticed.

Most of the 90 charges – one for every person sold the wrong TV – were dismissed after he replaced the TVs, and he spent five years on probation for the remaining ones.

He contacted Mugshots.com to take the picture down and they demanded $399, which he paid. But the next day he saw his picture was still on the site and he called them again.

“They told me it was $399 for

... read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jun/12/mugshot-exploitation-websites-arrests-shame

Leave a Reply