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Australia wants citizens to unlock online porn with their face

Are you 18 or older? We have all encountered this phrase while surfing the web, and we know for sure that it doesn’t do anything in the way of preventing minors from accessing pornographic and gambling websites.

For such reason, Australia’s House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs is resolved to conduct an inquiry into age verification for online pornography and wagering.

Facial recognition would be mandatory to access adult sites

The committee is proposing to employ Australia’s Face Verification Service to achieve this goal. In this sense, the service would contrast a person’s photo against pictures from their identity documents.

This extra step could certainly stop minors from entering adult sites – especially if they happen to not know any of the very basic workarounds, but it also raises concerns in the privacy department for those accessing these sites legally. It’s also unclear how this proposal would work, as the committee hasn’t explained the ins and outs just yet.

Australia is increasingly known for its lack of privacy. The Australian Face Verification Service first launched in 2016 and holds a database with citizenship images, but the government is seeking to expand the service to include driver’s license photos. This way, they would be able to encompass a larger spectrum of the population.

This database is accessible only to a handful of government agencies, but with this latest proposal, it could potentially expand to other sectors.

The Australian Government admits that its Face Verification Service isn’t fully working yet, but there are intentions already to make it available to private sector organizations in the future. However, this is still for debate, as it is subject to the Identity-Matching Services Bill 2019, which hasn’t been approved yet.

On top of that, there is always the risk of hacking, as a database containing the biometric data of every Australian citizen with a driver’s license would quickly become a target for hackers.

The UK government tried something similar in 2017, minus the facial verification part. However, the intention was the same: an age filter for pornographic sites, but it got “delayed indefinitely” in July of this year when ministers decided the idea was terrible, invasive, never going to work, and expensive to even attempt to implement.

SOURCE: RECLAIM THE NET