The BBFC is consulting on its procedures for deciding if porn websites have implemented adequately strictly such that under 18s
won't normally be able to access the website. Any websites not complying will be fined/blocked and/or pressurised by hosting/payment providers and advertisers who are willing to support the BBFC censorship.
Now I'm sure that the BBFC will diligently perform their duties with fairness and consideration for all, but the trouble is that all the horrors of scamming, hacking, snooping, blackmail, privacy etc are simply not the concern of the BBFC. It is
pointless to point out how the age verification will endanger porn viewers, it is not in their remit.
If a foreign website were to implement strict age verification and then pass over all the personal details and viewing habits straight to its blackmail, scamming and dirty tricks department, then this will be perfectly fine with the BBFC. It is
only their job to ensure that under 18s won't get through the ID checking.
There is a little privacy protection for porn websites with a presence in the EU, as the new GDPR rues have some generic things to say about keeping data safe. However these are mostly useless if you give your consent to the websites to use your
data as they see fit. And it seems pretty easy to get consent for just about anything just be asking people to tick a box, or else not be allowed to see the porn. For example, Facebook will still be allowed to slurp all you personal data even
within the constraints of GDPR, so will porn websites.
As a porn viewer, the only person who will look after you, is yourself.
The woeful flaws of this bill need addressing (by the government rather than the BBFC). We need to demand of the government: Don't save the children by endangering their parents.
At the very least we need a class of critically private data that websites simply must not use, EVER, under any circumstances, for any reason, and regardless of nominal user consent. Any company that uses this critically private data must be
liable to criminal prosecution.
Anyway there have been a few contributions to the debate in the run up to the end of the BBFC consultation.
The Digital Economy Act -- The Truth: AgeID
20th April 2018. See article from cbronline.com
AgeID says it wants to set the record straight on user data privacy under pending UK smut age check rules. As soon as a customer enters their login credentials, AgeID anonymises them. This ensures AgeID does not have a list of email addresses. We
cannot market to them, we cannot even see them
[You always have to be a bit sceptical about claims that anonymisation protects your data. Eg if Facebook strips off your name and address and then sells your GPS track as 'anonymised', when in fact your address and then name can be restored by
noting that you spend 12 hours a day at 32 Acacia avenue and commute to work at Snoops R Us. Perhaps more to the point of PornHub, may indeed not know that it was Damian@Green.com that hashed to 00000666, but the browsing record of 0000666 will be
stored by PornHub anyway. And when the police come along and find from the ID company that Damian@Green.com
hashes to 0000666 then the can simply ask PornHub to reveal the browsing history of 0000666.
Tell the BBFC that age verification will do more harm than good
20th April 2018. See article from backlash.org.uk
MindGeek's age verification solution, AgeID, will inevitably have broad takeup due to their using it on their free tube sites such as PornHub. This poses a massive conflict of interest: advertising is their main source of revenue, and they have a
direct profit motive to harvest data on what people like to look at. AgeID will allow them to do just that.
MindGeek have a terrible record on keeping sensitive data secure, and the resulting database will inevitably be leaked or hacked. The Ashley Madison data breach is a clear warning of what can happen when people's sex lives are leaked into the
public domain: it ruins lives, and can lead to blackmail and suicide. If this policy goes ahead without strict rules forcing age verification providers to protect user privacy, there is a genuine risk of loss of life.
Update: Marc Dorcel Issues Plea to Participate in U.K. Age-Verification Consultation
20th April 2018. See article from xbiz.com
French adult content producer Marc Dorcel has issued a plea for industry stakeholders to participate in a
public consultation on the U.K.'s upcoming age-verification system for adult content. The consultation period closes on Monday. The studio said the following about participation in the BBFC public consultation:
The time of a wild internet where everyone could get immediate and open access to porn seems to be over as many governments are looking for concrete solutions to control it.
U.K. is the first one to have voted a law regarding this subject and who will apply a total blockage on porn websites which do not age verify and protect minors. Australian, Polish and French authorities are also looking very closely into this
issue and are interested in the system that will be elected in the U.K.
BBFC is the organization which will define and manage the operation. In a few weeks, the BBFC will deliver the government its age-verification guidance in order to define and detail how age-verification should comply with this new law.
BBFC wants to be pragmatic and is concerned about how end users and website owners will be able to enact this measure.
The organization has launched an open consultation in order to collect the public and concerned professionals' opinion regarding this matter here
As a matter of fact, age-verification guideline involves a major challenge for the whole industry: age-verification processor cannot be considered neither as a gateway nor a toll. Moreover, it cannot be an instrument to gather internet users'
data or hijack traffic.
Marc Dorcel has existed since 1979 and operates on numerous platforms -- TV, mobile, press, web networks. We are used to regulation authorities.
According to our point of view, the two main requirements to define an independent age-verification system that would not serve specific corporate interests are: 1st requirement -- neither an authenticated adult, nor his data should belong to any
processor; 2nd requirement -- processor systems should freely be chosen because of their efficiency and not because of their dominant position.
We are also thinking that our industry should have two requests for the BBFC to insure a system which do not create dependency:
Any age-verification processor scope should be limited to a verification task without a user-registration system. As a consequence, processors could not get benefits on any data user or traffic control, customers' verified age would
independently be stored by each website or website network and users would have to age verify for any new website or network.
If the BBFC allows any age-verification processor to control a visitor data base and to manage login and password, they should commit to share the 18+ login/password to the other certified processors. As a consequence, users would only
have one age verification enrollment on their first visit of a website, users would be able to log in with the same login/password on any age verification system to prove their age, and verified adults would not belong to any processor to avoid
In those cases, we believe that an age-verification solution will act like a MPSP (multiple payment service provider) which processes client payments but where customers do not belong to payment processors, but to the website and where credit
card numbers can be used by any processor.
We believe that any adult company concerned with the future of our business should take part in this consultation, whatever his point of view or worries are.
It is our responsibility to take our fate into our own hands.