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UK porn consumers will soon need a “Porn pass” to watch pornography online

Are you a lover of porn that calls the United Kingdom home? This one might be of interest to you. Soon you may find yourself needing a porn pass to access XXX sites. The UK government is looking to make it harder to access internet porn in an attempt to stop underage children from accessing porn.

This new reality follows the passing of Digital Economy Act 2017 by the UK government sometimes last year in which there are proposals that porn users will have to purchase a ‘porn pass’ to prove their age before accessing a porn site. The pass will be sold in local newsstands and supermarkets, just like newspapers.  The so-called ‘porn pass’ will look like an identification card or driver’s license. Proponents of the idea say the 16-digit code option would be a fully anonymous option and will only be sold to persons over 18 years. It is expected to set users back some £10.

I want you to picture yourself in the corner store buying both a newspaper and a verification card to allow you access to online porn. How does your future as a porn lover look?

Age verification

According to the new law, porn websites will have to verify user age or face severe consequences among them fines of up to $448,000 or risk being blocked by internet service providers altogether. The government has been looking for ways of verifying the age of more than 25 million Britons who visit porn sites without compromising their privacy.

The UK government expects the adult entertainment industry to come up with their own mechanisms to verify user age, with MindGeek’s AgeID platform cited as one of the ways that can be achieved. However, the government has given more time to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) – a body tasked with overseeing the introduction of the new internet rules- to draft its guidelines.

David Austin, chief executive with the BBFC doesn’t seem to think there is cause for alarm, insisting the age verification process would actually be “simpler than people think” having been used in other adult only purchases. I wonder how many people fancy buying a porn pass at local newsagents. Imagine being like: ‘just the bread and milk and a porn pass please’. More than just a few people would find that embarrassing although ultimately it’s for their own good.

While someone with the porn pass will require no further verification, in cases where there are doubts regarding a customer’s age, they will have to produce some other form of verification, for instance, a driver’s license or a passport. They better hope the ID will not be recorded anywhere.

The new rules were set to roll out on April this year before the government delayed them to ensure a workable solution has been found. The ‘porn pass’ is one of the ideas being given serious consideration. Besides access to XXX sites, a porn pass holder will also be able to purchase other age-restricted products like alcohol and knives. As earlier mentioned, however, shopkeepers may still seek further identification before selling the online access codes.

Digital trail

There is hope that users who want to access a porn site without the need for further verification will find the proposal appealing. It comes after a recent report showed that an estimated   1.4million children visited a porn site over one month. Over half of those were aged between 6 and 14. By introducing the new laws, the government is looking to buck this trend. Interestingly, a part of the population (56% to be precise) who admitted to watching porn ‘occasionally’ will have to prove their age as well.

According to Internet security expert and director of the Open Rights Group Alec Muffett, users who opt for other traditional age verification methods may risk leaving a digital trail.

Speaking to British tabloid newspaper, The Telegraph, he said: “This legislation is a digital white elephant. The kids will beat the technology, and adults could have their details hacked.

Nobody is lined up to guarantee the trustworthiness of the companies which provide age verification and confirm someone’s age to a porn site.

Users can expect an array of age verification options, usually from third-party hosts, meaning porn lovers will not have to disclose their details to porn sites. Sounds like a small price to pay for your own online security, after all, doesn’t it?

According to a spokesman of Department of Culture, Media and Sport, the department tasked with introducing, they are “…in the process of implementing some of the strictest data protection laws in the world.”

A wide variety of online age verification solutions exist, or are in development, and they will have to abide by these high standards. We expect data security to be a high priority in the BBFC’s guidance on age verification arrangements.”

In conclusion

All in all, The Porn Dude feels like this is a better alternative to shutting down porn sites. Besides, while it may be embarrassing to buy a porn pass from your local supermarket, it is still better than giving away your personal information to a random XXX site and compromising your personal safety in the process.

Whether the porn overlord will be able to withstand the pressure remains to be seen.

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