Sure, Pornhub could verify identities and ages if they wanted to

But that’s not the point.

House Bill 1181, which was passed in June and went into effect in September, says that any entity publishing pornographic material must require a visitor to provide digital identification or use a commercial age verification system that uses a government ID or public or private transactional data to verify the age of an individual.

“Texas is not alone in this. In fact, there were 144 pieces of state legislation last year across the United States requiring age verification for one reason or another,” Age Verification Providers Association Execute Director Iain Corby said.

The Age Verification Providers Association is “a not-for-profit global trade body representing 26 (organizations) who provide age assurance solutions,” according to its website.

Corby said he didn’t know the ins and outs of the Texas legislation but did provide examples of ways people can verify their ages online.

Some ways are straightforward, such as uploading your driver’s license, to prove your age.

As for using transactional data, Corby said the most common way is by verifying your age through your bank by giving it consent to share your age with the website. He added credit reference agencies and reports as the other common ways for Americans to confirm their ages using transactional data.

He said in Europe people are working on a system where users can recycle their age verification check from one site to access others.

“The whole process is very privacy-preserving,” Corby said. “Obviously people are sometimes a little bit nervous about sharing their identity when they’re looking at that sort of site so the essence of our industry is proving your age without disclosing your identity.”

See here for the previous update. I don’t know anything about the Age Verification Providers Association or their claims; they may be legit or they may be opportunists jumping on a hot story. If they’re legit then this seems like a reasonable way forward and could be the basis for a settlement in the lawsuit filed by the state if the Fifth Circuit’s ruling is left to stand. But the point is that the original ruling followed existing precedent, and the Fifth Circuit did not, which puts this in defiance of current law. SCOTUS may of course decide that they’re fine with the Fifth Circuit monkeying with their rulings, or they may decide to revisit their previous opinions and make their own modifications. Until then, this is an encroachment on free speech, and it’s not on Pornhub to accommodate that.

Related Posts:

This entry was posted in Legal matters, Technology, science, and math and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Sure, Pornhub could verify identities and ages if they wanted to

  1. Age verification requirements aren’t new. Playboy magazines used to be sold at local convenience stores to customers aged 18+. Customer age also has to be verified for beer and tobacco sales. I’m ok with age verification requirements.

  2. C.L. says:

    Age verification notifications pop up on all kinds of websites – legal THC sites, boutique liquor sales sites, etc., and all those folks operate legit. Why exactly does age verification not work with PornHub, ye olde GOP puritans ?

  3. Iain Corby says:

    I can confirm we are “legit” – we’ve been representing providers of age verification and age estimation tech since it was first invented as a means of proving your age online without disclosing your identity.

  4. Greg – Speaking from personal experience, convenience stores were at best inconsistent about asking for ID when buying Playboy et al. And even if they did, it’s one thing to show a clerk your driver’s license, and another for said clerk to copy down all its details and save it somewhere, with who knows what security to prevent someone else from seeing it.

    Iain – Thanks!

  5. Sure. My comment was just in support for requiring some sort of age verification.

Comments are closed.