Photo: Pixabay

PornHub to force UK viewers to give up their name, ID details and address to view content

Bradley Wint
By - Founder/Executive Editor
Feb 1, 2018 10:19pm AST
Photo: Pixabay
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If you fancy X-rated content but happen to live in the UK, some of your favourite sites will soon be requiring that you register your personal details before viewing their content.

MindGeek, the owners of top porn sites like YouPorn, PornHub, Brazzers, SexTube, and others will soon be implementing an age verification system for UK viewers from May 2018. This will be done in accordance to the Digital Economy Act of 2017. Here’s the summary of what it serves to do.

A Bill To make provision about electronic communications infrastructure and services; to provide for restricting access to online pornography; to make provision about protection of intellectual property in connection with electronic communications; to make provision about data-sharing; to make provision about functions of OFCOM in relation to the BBC; to provide for determination by the BBC of age-related TV licence fee concessions; to make provision about the regulation of direct marketing; to make other provision about OFCOM and its functions; and for connected purposes.

As various pornographic websites scramble to put together a proper age verification system, MeedGeek developed a gateway called AgeID which requires viewers to first register an account. They will then be required to provide potential information such as your name, date of birth, address, and may even ask for a cellphone number or ID information (e.g. national ID, passports, driver’s licenses) to verify that you are of the age to view such material.

According to MindGeek, the information will be encrypted and sent to an authorized third-party regulator-approved verification agency, which will then send back a YES or NO response depending on the validity. They say that no data will be stored at any point in the transaction to prevent hackers from accessing such sensitive information.

AgeID simply provides a medium to have information passed on to verification agencies (managed by the British Board of Film Censorship), where it would then grant access to the site depending on what the response is.

MindGeek also made mention of the many security measures being put in place to prevent accounts from being used for fraudulent purposes or account sharing.

They shared this comment with Sky News:

“AgeID has been built from the ground up with data protection, data minimization and the principles of privacy by design at its core, whilst also complying with the GDPR.

“This is why we do not store any personal data entered during the age-verification process,” they added. “Due to the encrypted nature of AgeID’s login credentials, such data cannot be exposed in the unlikely event of a hack.”

Unfortunately, the law states that sites that are not in compliance can face a fine up to £250,000, and can be blocked from using payment service, making it extremely difficult to carry out business, hence the sudden scramble to put their verification gateways in place.

Privacy advocates fear that even though MindGeek promises to not store information, we will never really know what they can do with your data in the long run. Should they decide to store it, it could end up being a gold mine for any hacker successfully breaching their systems.

“You can imagine how much data that is going to give MindGeek, if they’re going to have stats on what people click on, what porn sites people click on, what they pay for,” Pandora Blake, a sexual liberties campaigner and pornographic website owner, told an Open Rights Group meeting in London last month. “Once you’ve got a MindGeek login, you’re going to be giving them your entire web browsing history, because they’re going to be able to track every time you log in to anything.”

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