Porn website age verification tool officially announced within UK

Some argue that this tool could be used as a breach of privacy

A person using a laptop
A person using a laptop

Monitoring how tech-savvy young children and teens use the internet can be extremely difficult for parents in today’s digital day and age.

However, very soon, people trying to access pornographic websites will have to prove that they’re 18 years old or older before being allowed access.

The launch of AgeID, a secure online age verification tool, has been officially announced today during the European Summit in Lisbon.

AgeID, has been developed by MindGeek, a company that also owns several pornographic websites including Pornhub, RedTube and YouPorn.

AgeID currently uses official documents such as driver's licences and passports to verify a person's age - but submitting a mobile number tied to a contract phone could be another option.

The tool is due to be implemented later this year across all adult sites within the UK in accordance with The Digital Economy Act 2017 that was laid out by the government.

It will be regulated by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).

People perusing sites that contain adult content will be asked to verify their age in a one-off process.

Once a person’s age has been authenticated by a third-party company, they will then be able to browse all AgeID protected sites on multiple devices without having to verify their age ever again.

AgeID will not permanently store any personal information, but will provide users with a “secure login for all future access”.

“We have created a tool to comply with the impending UK legislation, which both protects children from stumbling across adult content, and enables those of legal age to securely and privately access adult websites through a one-time verification process,” said James Clark, a spokesperson for AgeID.

While many may welcome this move as a way to safeguard those under the age of 18 from accessing adult content, some argue that the tool could be wrongly used to breach the privacy of internet users.

“People don’t want their porn habits tracked… They would rather not watch porn than verify who they are with credit card detail,”, one woman wrote on Twitter.

“Pretty much everything about the porn block and how age verification will be implemented is terrible,” another person commented. “It’s illiberal.”

AgeID has been administered in Germany since 2015 in accordance with German Media Authority regulations.

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