UK online pornography age block triggers privacy fears

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The government will next week confirm the launch date for a UK-wide age block on online pornography as privacy campaigners continue to raise concerns about how websites and age verification companies will use the data they collect.

The plan for implementing the long-delayed age block, which has been beset by technical difficulties, is expected to be announced alongside the government’s other proposals for tackling online content harmful to children, although it could be several months before the system is fully up and running.

The age block will require commercial pornography sites to show that they are taking sufficient steps to verify their users are over 18, such as by uploading a passport or driving licence or by visiting a newsagent to buy a pass only available to adults. Websites which fail to comply risk substantial fines or having their websites banned by all British internet service providers.

It’s a good job that the government doesn’t have anything big and complicated to be working on, right now, so they have loads of free time to establish a sex-shaming, unenforceable, and inevitably-ineffective law to impinge upon the liberties of individuals. Sigh.

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