Scroll to the top

Is the UK trying to screw the porn industry?

The Pornhub logo is seen on an iPhone mobile device in this illustration photo in Warsaw, Poland on 12 October, 2022.

The Pornhub logo is seen on an iPhone mobile device in this illustration photo in Warsaw, Poland on 12 October, 2022.

REUTERS

If the British communications regulator has its way, visiting porn sites in the UK is about to become a much more intimate process.

Responding to parliamentarians’ criticisms that those “click yes if you’re an adult” boxes do too little to shield kids from smut, a new proposal would require triple-X sites to demand users’ banking details, photo ID, credit card, or even a biometric face scan to prove they are over 18.


Proponents say users’ digital histories will be kept secure, but critics say surrendering personal data to porn sites is a privacy nightmare. The new rules would begin in 2025.

Will Brits keep calm and… give their personal data to porn sites? The UK already tops a list of the European populations most reluctant to talk about their sex lives.

The result could be to crater engagement with porn sites more broadly. In fact, that’s exactly what happened when similar ID checks were introduced in US states like Louisiana, Montana, and Arkansas: web traffic on the sites fell more than 80% because of users’ reluctance to tie their sensitive personal information to the sites.

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO's daily newsletter