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As 2019 approaches, there’s still no answer to who will be in charge of UK’s porn database

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With the year drawing to a close, there’s still no clear information about the prohibitive legal changes due to come into force in the UK around viewing pornography online. SEXTECHGUIDE caught up with obscenity lawyer Myles Jackman about his predictions for the Digital Economy Act (DEA), which looks set to completely change how data is kept on people’s pornography-viewing habits in the United Kingdom.

Commenting on the delay, Jackman says “there’s serious concern for people’s private sexual data”.

In brief, the DEA would, among other measures, mean that anyone that wants to view porn would need to complete a strict age verification process – ie. not just a tick/select box for age. It was originally supposed to come into force in April 2018.

However, following the government’s inability to reach a conclusion on how to execute its own plans, it was pushed back to December… so, about now. But guess what? Yep. It was delayed again. The deadline for it to come into force is now pencilled in for April 2019, a full year late.

“I have very serious concerns that there is a regulatory gap between the British Board of Film Classification, the Department for Culture of Media and Sport and the Information Commissioner’s Office with regards to who is taking responsibility for the end user’s privacy and security of their private sexual data,” Jackman added.

“A lot of what we’re hearing is inevitably gossip, which is hard to substantiate[…] The risk, as we’ve said repeatedly, is that 20-25 million users run the risk of having their private sexual proclivities leaked into the public domain and tragically, previous hacks like the one with Ashley Madison, led to relationship breakdowns, suicides, divorces and people feeling like they’re social pariahs.

That is very concerning. Not only on a personal level, but for other citizens, how are they expected to trust the government with their data in the future?”

Of course, it’s totally pointless anyway and won’t address the real issues – not least of all because social media companies are exempt from the rules.

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