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13 June, 2024
 
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Concerns emerge over Cypriot porn website age verifier

New law in Louisiana raises questions about anonymous verification, Cypriot company says only age is shared

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A new law in Louisiana requiring adults who visit porn websites to verify their age is raising privacy concerns, but a Cypriot firm that collects personal information of those users says privacy is maintained throughout the process.

Online users who wish to access porn websites such as Pornhub, YouPorn, and Redtube, are now required to present official proof of age if they reside in the state of Louisiana.

The new controversial law, known as Act 440, requires adult websites to screen visitors using "reasonable age verification." The rules do not apply in all cases where less than a third of the material is pornographic, such as OnlyFans.

But privacy advocates have taken issue with the age verification process, which is carried out by companies such as Cypriot-registered AllpassTrust on behalf of a number of websites that offer adult content.

'So in the case of AllPassTrust only the attribute of 'course age' is shared and approved by the LA Wallet user'

These sites, such as popular Pornhub, force users to register through LA Wallet that works with the company in Cyprus.

AllpassTrust, which lists a number of third-party providers on its website, states that those companies are used “privately and securely” to verify age.

“No data or information is relayed from these third parties other than a simple pass or fail notification once you have verified your age,” Allpass says.

But an associate director for Electronic Frontier Foundation, Jason Kelley, argues it is reasonable for consumers to have concerns about their privacy when it comes to sharing private information with third parties.

"Users don't have a lot of guarantees that it will happen and the data will be removed or deleted and [won't be] shared or used in other ways," Kelley was quoted as saying on NPR.

According to Allpass's privacy policy, the company records login information, technical information such as IP address, cookie data, as well as approximate location of the IP address.

Industry experts say even though a lot of information is captured, the system in place is set up to allow users to protect their privacy.

Calvin Fabre, who owns Envoc that developed LA Wallet and runs the anonymous verification on the platform, says AllpassTrust only receives the user’s age and nothing else.

"For remote verifications, every data element that you will share are listed in the approval message. So in the case of AllPassTrust only the attribute of 'course age' is shared and approved by the LA Wallet user," Fabre argues.

But data retention clauses for legal purposes or after users delete their profiles raise concern amongst US lawmakers that worry privacy issues may need a closer look.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  porn  |  age verification  |  privacy  |  adult content  |  Louisiana  |  US

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