PornHub owner unveils AgeID age verification tool for the UK

PornHub to verify your age while accessing adult websites within the UK

Starting April 2018, accessing adult websites may not be easy for visitors in the UK, as they would have to now verify their age to access online pornography under a new law.

For those unaware, UK is set to implement the ‘Digital Economy Act 2017’ – an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom – which mandates age-checks in order to prevent users under the age of 18 from accessing explicit content. For this purpose, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has been selected as the age-verification regulator that will publish guidelines about how pornographic websites should ensure their users are aged 18 or older. Any company that fails to verify the age will be fined £250,000.

In order to adhere with this new and restrictive government legislation, MindGeek, the parent company of PornHub, has unveiled an encrypted online age verification tool called “AgeID”, that will require visitors on its sites to prove that they are aged 18 or above to access adult content. Besides owning PornHub, MindGeek also runs sites such as YouPorn, Brazzers and RedTube. This AgeID technology will be available on all its sites in the UK. Apparently, MindGeek has been using the AgeID age verification tool in Germany since 2015.

Reportedly, AgeID is going to be a one-time verification, wherein users accessing the adult websites within the UK users will be prompted to ‘Verify my Age’ using its AgeID login. Once a person has their age confirmed via AgeID, it will allow the person to browse all AgeID protected sites on multiple devices without any repeated verification.

While it is unclear as to how AgeID will verify a person’s age, the company claims that it will use “regulator approved methodology” to issue a simple “pass” or “fail” to the visitor. The verifying of age could involve submitting credit card info or a form of ID, like passport or driver’s license, or mobile SMS.

Many people are not happy with the idea of AgeID collecting personal data fearing data breach. Jim Killock, the Executive Director of the privacy group Open Rights Group said: “The BBFC will struggle to ensure that Age Verification is safe, secure and anonymous. They are powerless to ensure people’s privacy.

“The major publisher, MindGeek, looks like it will dominate the AV market. We are very worried about their product, AgeID, which could track people’s porn use,’ she added.

However, MindGeek James Clark said: “AgeID has been built from the ground up with data protection, data minimisation and the principles of privacy by design at its core, while also complying with the GDPR.”

MindGeek also confirmed that no personal information will be stored on the AgeID platform entered during the age-verification process and only the “standard technical data” would be stored to prevent fraud and illegitimate logins.

“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,” Clark said.

“Due to the encrypted nature of AgeID’s login credentials, such data cannot be exposed in the unlikely event of a hack,” he added.

Besides, MindGeek’s owned sites, AgeID would be made commercially available to all other porn sites accessible within the UK too. While it would be offered free to independent UK studios, producers and bloggers, it will cost a flat fee for others depending on their volume of British traffic.

The UK government has yet to finalize the details of the Act.

Source: huffingtonpost