LibDems cane plans to build database of porn users

adult newThe Liberal Democrats have battered Government plans – included in the Digital Economy Bill – to introduce age-verification for adult websites, insisting the move will potentially create a huge database of porn lovers who could be targeted not only by hackers but also by brand owners running “embarrassing and unwanted advertising”.
In a blog post, LibDem home affairs spokesman Brian Paddick – the life peer and former deputy assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan Police – the Government is creating the issue by not placing any conditions on age-verification systems in order to protect the users.
While he concedes that “we all want to stop children looking at stuff that isn’t appropriate for their age”, Paddick adds: “The Government should concentrate its efforts on teaching even very young children what they should do if they come across adult material and making sex and healthy relationship education compulsory in all schools.”
He says the main issue is that while most popular sites are free to access, many of the age verification systems currently in use are operated by the porn sites themselves and work on the basis of providing credit card details.
Paddick adds: “Apart from the potential for porn websites to target you with embarrassing and unwanted advertising once they know your details, the potential value to criminals of lists of people who are accessing pornography, and their credit card details, is obvious.
“We do not have to imagine how sensitive this kind of personal data is, as there have already been examples of the personal details of those who pay for access to porn sites being traded on the dark web. Details of over 400 million customers of two porn sites have been stolen since July last year. In the case of the website, Ashley Madison, the release of personal information reportedly led to two suicides.”
The Liberal Democrats have tabled an amendment to the Bill which would require any system to guarantee the anonymity of the user. Paddick adds: “We will continue to press our amendment to ensure everything is done to protect the privacy of age-verification users and to give them a choice as to which company they trust with their personal data.”

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