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0 You will soon have to prove your age to access a porn site

  • by Administrator
  • 14-11-2020
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The Senate yesterday adopted the bill against domestic violence and among all the measures of the device is an amendment concerning access to sites that offer pornographic content. Its goal is to prevent minors from accessing these sites, with an obligation for sites to verify the age of each visitor. A simple statement, such as we find today on sites that sell or promote alcohol, for example, will no longer suffice.

To prove the age of its visitors, the amendment suggests two solutions that sites can implement: use a payment card or identification via FranceConnect. It is not possible to have a payment card when you are under 16, and you need parental permission when you are a minor. A 17 year old could still access pornographic content, but this is one way of limiting access to minors.

FranceConnect is the government's identification solution and it is used on the tax website and several official websites and services. Its role is both to provide a login button on several sites, such as Facebook, Twitter or Apple may do so, but also to guarantee the user's identity and in particular their age. With a FranceConnect connection, the pornographic site would thus have the guarantee that the user is of legal age.

Asking visitors to adult sites to authenticate with the same credentials they use for their taxes is not going to be a very popular measure. However, the amendment provides a framework to oblige sites to comply with these new rules. In the event of non-compliance, the president of the CSA may give formal notice to a site which will then have 15 days to implement a solution to verify the age of its visitors.

If he does not comply, justice can be brought to oblige both internet service providers to block access to the site for their customers, and search engines to remove them from their index. Pornographic sites which do not respect the rules would thus be blocked in France… except of course for Internet users who will use a VPN or another technical measure to bypass the limits in place.

This amendment was submitted by Senator Marie Mercier of the Les Républicains group. It received a favorable opinion from the government and it should quickly be ratified. According to Next Inpact, this amendment originally responds to a request from the OPEN association, which has been one of the workhorses for several years, and more strangely from Dorcel. And if a site that offers pornographic content has been lobbying for this law, it is for very good reason from its point of view.

Access to Dorcel is necessarily linked to a paid subscription, which means that a payment card is required and therefore that it already complies with the provisions set out in the framework of the amendment. It is not this site or its paying competitors that are targeted by the device, but the sites that offer free content, a competition that Marc Dorcel would gladly do without ...

Note that France is not the first country to want to verify the age of visitors to pornographic sites. The UK launched a similar idea in 2015, but the project was eventually scrapped. Critics pointed to privacy risks or the difficulty in verifying with certainty the identity of a visitor.

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