6 more countries mull age verification laws

AgeGo System

Barcelona-based age verification system, AgeGo, has revealed that more countries may adopt the UK’s ‘porn block’ plans in a global shift to censor pornography. Governments in Spain, Ireland, Poland, France, Sweden and South Africa have all been discussing the negative effects of porn on children, with default blocks on all adult sites posed as the solution.

With the Age Verification plans due to come into effect in just under one month, Exogroup’s AgeGo and MindGeek’s AgeID are just two of the suggested software systems that have been developed as a result of these measures, with the aim of restricting access to adult content in the UK.

Despite the flaws of the Age Verification (AV) measures – most notably, that they won’t work and create a treasure trove of sensitive information for hackers to target – the 6 new countries considering implementing them all cite research proposals that broadly support the view that access to pornography by people under the age of 18 is too easy.

Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group (ORG) says that the UK’s new rules shouldn’t act as an example to other countries.

“Governments must learn from the mistakes the UK has made. Privacy must be protected, and not left to an under-resourced market to sort out,” Killock told SEXTECHGUIDE.

In order to gain access to adult content via AgeGo restricted sites, you will have to enter your personal details, including your name, email address and age via credit card, passport or driving license. There’s also the option to buy a card locally, to avoid providing this information.

“AgeGO offers the possibility to verify your age without submitting any personal data thanks to the purchase of physical cards. For any other method of age verification, the identity data is immediately erased from our systems,” a spokesperson for the company told SEXTECHGUIDE.

AgeGO is GDPR compliant and will not track the sites you access, or what content is viewed, the company says. Nonetheless, privacy campaigners are still concerned that the potential for personal data to be leaked by any age verification scheme remains.

Chasing adults sites outside of the UK will prove difficult, but this may change if other countries also adopt similar Age Verification systems. Regardless, more young people today have access VPNs for online streaming from other countries, and if web browsers enable DNS encryption by default, Age Verification systems will inevitably struggle to block adult sites.

It has been predicted to cost UK taxpayers between £4.45 million to £7.9 million.

Read Next: Watching female-centric porn can be educational for under 30s (but the UK’s still making access harder for everyone)

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Oli Lipski
Oli Lipski

Oli is a freelance sex tech researcher based in London. With an MA in Sexual Dissidence, researching sex tech, and a BA in History, researching gender and sexuality, she has a keen understanding of the past, present and future of sex. In addition to SEXTECHGUIDE, you can find Oli's work on titles such as shado-mag, QueerMajority, UnicornZine and more.

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