UK brings back plans for porn site age verification checks using passports, credit cards


A hot potato: A controversial UK scheme that requires porn sites to legally verify the age of visitors using passports, credit cards, and other means is being resurrected. The original system was scrapped back in 2019, just weeks before it was set to be implemented.

To mark Safer Internet Day, UK digital minister Chris Philip announced that the Online Safety Bill would be updated with a section requiring all sites that publish pornography, not just those with user-generated content (i.e. OnlyFans), to put “robust” checks in place ensuring visitors are over 18.

2019 04 17 image 21

Rather than using a pop-up that asks “are you over 18?” which is about as far as most porn platforms go when verifying ages, it’s suggested that “secure age verification technology” is used to confirm visitors have a credit card.

A user’s age could also be confirmed by checking their details held by a mobile provider. Another suggestion is to use a third-party service that checks someone’s date of birth against government-held data such as passport information. “The onus will be on the companies themselves to decide how to comply with their new legal duty,” the government said.

Any sites failing to implement the age verification checks could be fined 10% of their annual worldwide turnover or be blocked in the UK. As before, we can expect VPN uptake to suddenly increase in the country. Check out some of our favorites in this Essential Apps Guide.

As was the case previously, the law is primarily designed to protect children from accessing pornography online, but it comes with numerous privacy and security concerns, not only from hackers but also from the fear that someone’s porn viewing habits could be associated with their identity. Those reasons, along with technical challenges, are believed to have been why the government abandoned the plans three years ago.



Source link

Leave a Comment