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Controversial age checks to access online porn delayed in UK  - sex - Controversial age checks to access online porn delayed in UK

Just two weeks before the British government was due to introduce a compulsory order that sites verify their visitors’ ages, the regulation has been pulled.

Age verification of all to pornographic content was was supposed to have been made mandatory from April 2018 with the Digital Economy Act, but even at this late stage serious questions remained as to how precisely the X-rated websites would confirm visitors’ ages.

It will be up to individual websites what umm.. tools they to verify their users’ ages.

Hmm. Would you be happy sharing your credit card details with an adult website? How about uploading your password? And even if you did think your credit card was safe (despite the danger of an embarrassing data ) what’s to stop a horny 15 year old from pinching their mum’s credit card while her back is turned?

As Wired described last week, one of the companies offering a potential “solution” to the age verification requirement is MindGeek, which just happens to own or operate top porn sites such as PornHub, RedTube, and YouPorn.

For age verification, MindGeek has developed AgeID. The company says it expects to sign-up 25 million people in the its system. According to Sky News, people will be able to login to AgeID with an email address and password, then use a third party system to check their age. AgeID will log which pornography websites are visited and store them.

So, there now exists a database of verified users of pornographic websites. Does anyone else see the potential problem with this?

Companies get hacked all the time. Government computer systems are compromised. Heck, even intelligence agencies get hacked.

What’s the betting that determined hackers might not also be able to get away with a database of porn lovers. We learnt about the real threat of blackmail after the Ashley Madison hack – a verified database of every porn viewer in Britain would make that breach look like potatoes.

We talked about this red hot issue, and some other below-the-belt methods through which porn sites might verify their members, in an edition of the “Smashing Security” podcast last year. Give it a listen.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Overcast | Stitcher | RSS for you nerds.

As BBC News reports, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport says that the age verification scheme will now start “later in the year”.

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About the author, Graham Cluley

Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon’s Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives presentations on the topic of computer security and online privacy.

Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, Google Plus, Facebook, or drop him an email.

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