The French Parliament this week approved legislation requiring age verification protocols for pornography websites, a system approved and then abandoned by the UK following technical setbacks and privacy concerns.
Age verification in France was unanimously approved this week after being introduced amendment last month to a law on domestic violence, Politico reported on Thursday. The point of sale indicated that the verification methods would be the responsibility of the private companies themselves, but added that any action against the non-compliant platforms could involve the prohibition of access to their sites in France. According to Politico, the bill still requires a final vote in the Senate, but should be passed.
The purpose of the bill is to deny access to pornographic imagery by children and adolescents under the age of 18, although the systems for doing so are controversial and flawed. Politico indicated that one method of age verification studied by legislators was the verification of credit cards.
But the outlet noted that the same controversial system for verifying a person’s identity to access adult websites was also to be applied in the UK last year before the system for verifying age. Many times deferred and ultimately discarded.
As with the bill in France, the verification systems in the United Kingdom would have been applied by private companies themselves, access to their pornographic sites is prohibited in the event of non-compliance with these identification protocols. According to Wired Last year, the identification methods could have involved texting, credit cards, passports or identity documents, facial recognition and even blockchain. Plans have been killed for the British system over technical problems and privacy issues.
Critics like Jim Killock, Open Rights Group The executive director said last year that a lack of privacy standards for age verification systems was “dangerous and irresponsible.”
“It is unfair to have a good age verification system and other bad systems, and it is a scam paradise – on the government’s own initiative,” Killock told l ‘time. “Data leaks could be disastrous. And it will be the government’s fault.