UK introduce Porn ID checks and how you can avoid them

Porn ID UK checks

The UK government has revealed it is to introduce requirements for all porn websites to check the age of visitors via ID verification.

A date of April 2018 has been set as to when the requirements should be in place.

While the reasoning behind it is to be commended and no one could argue that greater efforts to protect minors from the influences of adult material can only be a good thing, the way it is to be implemented has raised serious concerns.

The UK Government is suggesting the adult websites do verification using methods such as entering credit card details.

Credit card requirements are suggested as a positive way to verify age because in the UK it is usually a requirement that you need to be 18 to own one.

The privacy implications are huge and anonymous porn browsing could be a thing of the past for UK residents.

Why Porn ID checks are stupid

There are numerous reasons why Porn ID checks are stupid in the first place.

The most blindingly obvious is the fact it is privacy invasive. A user will now need to give their personal identification to access a service that is entirely legal.

When a user creates a profile on a porn website it is almost guaranteed that the site will monitor and record the types of content the user views. Sites will use this for their own marketing research and to serve up more tailored content for that users’ tastes.

Up until now a user could be relatively anonymous without the need to either create an account or having the possibility of using false details.

UK users will now be required to verify their age using a system that inherently gives away their identity.

To do a credit card check users will be required to enter their real name and likely real billing address.

This will be then linked to that users’ account giving a whole history of their search terms, the type of content they watch and much more.

As was seen with Ashley Madison the online dating site for extra marital affairs, sordid details can and will be hacked.

With personal details up for grabs in an area that is sensitive and calls for anonymity, you can guarantee that these prized details will be accessed. The result being they could then be used to blackmail users, all for making use of a service that is legal in the UK.

Bypassing the Porn ID requirements easy

Another reason the Porn ID requirements are so poorly thought out is UK users can easily avoid them by using a service known as a VPN.

A VPN allows users to alter their online location and appear in another country.

The new legislation will only require websites to request details from UK users which is most likely to be tested via a users’ IP Address.

An IP Address is a unique identifier for an internet connection and reveals the country of the user.

A VPN allows users to alter their IP Address to another country. When a UK user makes use of a VPN service they can get an IP Address from France, the Netherlands, Switzerland or practically any country in the world.

The result being that the porn website won’t push a request for ID verification because it will assume the user is located in another country outside the UK.

VPN services such as IPVanish and ExpressVPN usually require payment details that are only available to over 18’s. This means you as an adult can take back your online porn browsing privacy and the likelihood of a minor doing the same is probably about the same as them finding any other numbers of ways to bypass restrictions.

Alternative already in operation

Stopping children from accessing adult material either by mistake or intentionally is certainly something we support.

Doing it in the right way via education and alternative processes that have been well thought through is another thing.

The UK government already makes it a requirement for ISPs to force customers to opt in or out of automatic porn filtering. Most ISPs also offer security software that has parental control features and routers that have the same ability.

It would appear the latest measures are nothing more than an attempt to win votes from the parents of the some 11 million children in the UK.

Christopher Seward

Author: Christopher Seward

After 25 years of using the internet, Christopher launched one of the very first VPN comparison websites in 2013. An expert in the field his reviews, testing and knowledge have helped thousands of users get the correct VPN for their needs.

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