Social Media Identity Theft Ban Proposed

What exactly is social media identity theft? It’s a form of cybersquatting using social media sites. If you’ve ever attempted to join a social media, site or applied for an email account, and found that your first and last name were already taken, that may or may not have been social media identity theft, or cybersquatting.

InformationWeek reports SB 1411, which has been approved by the California Senate and the Assembly and now awaits the signature of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, makes it a misdemeanor “to knowingly and without consent credibly impersonate another person through or on an Internet Web site or by other electronic means with the intent to harm, intimidate, threaten or defraud another person.”

There are laws for every possible thing under the sun. Do we need another law? Many argue there are sufficient laws in place that already make impersonation illegal. Will a law that directly addresses the issue of social media identity theft stop others from doing it? Maybe. Are there instances where it is OK to impersonate another person or corporation? Apparently it is acceptable like in the BP case where  someone created a mock Twitter account.

I know I don’t want anyone stealing my online identity so I’ve done things to prevent that as much as I can. However it is still possible to create a persona that is mine and make a mockery out if it. That is not OK with me. Do you think there should be a law that prohibits social media identity theft?

california, cybersquatting, Identity Theft, Social Media


One Response to “Social Media Identity Theft Ban Proposed”

  1. Kevin @ EAT Club on September 29th, 2010 7:31 pm

    I think the internet would be a better place without cybersquatting and fake profiles. At the same time, our legal system is so cumbersome that legal action is usually a last resort, so practically speaking, I’m not sure whether any law would meaningfully address this problem.

    The key is enforcement, and I’d rather that happen at the company level than the governmental level.

Social Media Identity Theft Ban Proposed

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