Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Porn ID checks set to start in April 2018

As per BBC article. I hate having to repeat myself, so I'll make it quick.
  1. Is there a problem to solve? Show us the evidence please.
  2. Is there a solution already? PCs can be set up with basic parental controls, and ISPs (even A&A) can help with that, so young kids that have no interest in porn can avoid it.
  3. Is this a solution? Older kids that want to see porn will absolutely not be stopped by these measures, so no.
  4. Will this work at all? Foreign web sites that are free are not covered, those paid by advertisers cannot be stopped by blocking card payments. Maybe some that take cards now will comply, but they sort of do as they take cards already.
  5. Kids can get cards! (albeit pre-pay or debit rather than credit cards) which makes one means of age checking somewhat harder
  6. How do you tell my age? It is almost impossible to make an age verification system that works remotely over the internet that cannot be fudged somehow. E.g. use a parents card details, simple as that. Anything an adult can type in can be typed in by a teenager. Even live video chat cannot be trusted - how long before there is an app to make your live face and voice seem a lot older in a convincing way.
Now for where it gets really bad...
  1. The age verification companies appear under no special obligation to secure the data, in spite of calls for this. If any are outside the UK they may not even have the Data Protection Act to consider.
  2. It is going to be nearly impossible to verify age without verifying identity, and almost impossible to come up with a way that cannot then be correlated to the site, and specific pages and sections of sites that identifiable people are accessing. This data will be hacked and leaked.
  3. Free porn sites are simply not covered by the legislation anyway, so what is the point.
  4. Web sites offering free porn (even those linking to or copying other sites) will now start asking for personal details to prove you are 18, including card details. They will be able to link to UK law and UK government information to justify asking. People will expect such sites to want lots of personal information. People will give details and then when scammed they are not that likely to complain or claw back as they are too embarrassed to go to their bank.
  5. The scams and risks target minorities especially - those that, more than most of us, do not want anyone to know their sexual preferences, even though totally legal.
Also, if you do access a porn site, using incognito or privacy mode so not in your browser history, you won't have cookies, etc, and so will have to do age verification every time?!

Remember, we are talking about legal content from legitimate businesses here...

6 comments:

  1. > Free porn sites are simply not covered

    Worth noting that "on a commercial basis" covers more than just "for money", as you note in your comment about ad-funding, so that's really the test, rather than whether it is "free" or not.

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  2. Kids can get real credit cards, too.

    Both my credit card accounts permit me to have *anyone* as an additional cardholder, as long as I'm willing to be on the hook for the charges - I can't apply online (KYC regulations get trickier for under 18s, and there are paper forms to fill in), but I can get them both credit cards identical to the ones my wife uses...

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  3. I find it ironic that one day the government says that they'll be able to use all this crap to stop kids from accessing porn, and the *very next day* they announce that they can't stop kids buying knives online.

    Surely they can just add "porn verification" to knife shops?!

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    Replies
    1. They have also admitted that they can't stop acid attacks because acid is too easy to get hold of, while at the same time arguing that they can prevent criminals from using encryption.

      I'm not sure if the government is run by a bunch of schizophrenics, or if they just have a three second attention span.

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    2. I think it's much simpler than that - the government is by and large run by a bunch of people who will lie, cheat and steal in whatever way suits their personal interests.

      Delete
  4. It seems to be silly season for age "verification" lately .. my mother got carded buying a bottle of Jack Daniels BBQ sauce in Tesco this week. (It would appear to be about 0.4% alcohol...) I forgot to ask if they accepted a bus pass as proof of being over 18.

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