Earlier this month, my newsfeed was full of articles about a police station in North Miami. Apparently, a sniper training program there was using mugshot photographs for target practice. And many people were concerned about racism, as many of the photos used were of men of African descent, according to coverage on PoliceOne.com.
There's a lot to be worried about here, and I'm not surprised about the fury. I was glad to see that this sniper training program was halted due to the outcry (so says PBS).
But it got me to thinking.
Those who think that their photos will be shot at might be concerned about posing for a mugshot. But there are all sorts of things about mugshots that are even more dangerous. And often, the dangers become apparent just minutes after the camera's flash. Here are three examples.
Mugshots Could Cost You a Job
As many online commenters have pointed out, several states have passed legislation that could protect you from the need to disclose a criminal record when you apply for a job. In these states, when you're asked to fill out a job application, you won't be faced with the dreaded "box" to check if you've ever been convicted of a felony.
But that doesn't mean you won't lose a job due to an arrest.
A potential employer may not be able to ask you about your criminal history, but that employer could simply run a Google check for your name and disqualify you when your mugshot pops up on that search results page. If that happens, you might not even get an interview. Your dream of a new job could be over before it even got started.
Mugshots Could Cost You a Date
If you're interested in finding a new love in 2015, a mugshot could kill your chances. Consider this: In an article in Glamour, eligible ladies admitted that they hit Google just as soon as they developed an interest in someone new. They did the search in order to ensure that the person they were interested in was both eligible and worthy of their time.
Think about how a mugshot could kill the buzz.
When you're arrested and photographed, you rarely have time to put on makeup, shave, clean up or change clothes. And chances are, you've been through something emotional and/or traumatic, so you're not looking your best. Put all of that together with bad lighting and you have a recipe for nastiness.
And, some mugshot websites provide information about what you've been arrested for. If you've been accused of something unsavory, it could be that your potential mate steers clear of you on principle.
Mugshots Could Cost You Neighborhood Cred
This point is a little new, and it might be a little controversial, but it's something I've been watching very carefully.
In essence, I've seen a few papers like this one that suggest that Google is testing some tools in which people could run searches and find out information about the people who live close to them. These "correlate" tools could be useful in times of tragedy, like an earthquake, because you'd know who should be close to you and you could look for them with ease. But when it comes to mugshots, these tools make me nervous.
If you're arrested and your mugshot is linked to your address (and many sites provide this information), a Google correlate tool could help your neighbors to find out about your arrest at the speed of light. All of that data is just waiting for them to find it, and when they do, that could end your chances of a warm reception at the neighborhood barbeque.
You Can Take Control
Getting arrested isn't fun and it isn't easy to recover from the trauma. But one photograph doesn't have to define your life. We can help. We have a suite of tools that can help you remove photos from major mugshot websites, so you won't have to worry about the repercussions from your arrest. Just click here to find out more.
Protect your reputation online.