Louisiana Now Requires ID Authentication For Adult Sites
By Space Coast Daily // January 29, 2023
Ensuring that young children and teens can not access adult content is essential.
However, sometimes authorities end up taking radical measures to do so. Some countries are trying to mandate ID verification before accessing adult sites. Despite any previous attempts failing, Louisiana has passed a bill to require online users to identify themselves before accessing adult sites.
Louisiana officials have decided to mandate ID authentication for adult sites by passing a new legislative bill, HB142.
Based on PIA’s report, the bill orders adult sites to ask for verification IDs from any users. Without taking into consideration the potential damage that it can cause. The bill is well intended but creates a dangerous scenario for people’s privacy.
Louisiana Mandates ID Authentication For Adult Sites
Louisiana officials recently launched bill HB142, which mandates user ID verification before accessing adult sites. The step was taken to ensure that young children and teens cannot access sites with adult content. However, the officials have yet to consider its effect on user privacy.
The bill was passed to stop the distribution of adult content to children. But, even if the bill is implemented, there are no measures taken in case of a data breach.
If visitors on adult sites provide IDs to the websites, they will most certainly be facing privacy issues. Nowadays, it is common for websites to sell user data from their database to other companies.
What Is Bill HB142?
Bill HB142 has asked users to provide their personal information to websites that can be hacked very easily. There are thousands of adult sites, and not all will have a secure database. The bill also doesn’t clarify which websites should ask for IDs, stating that websites with substantial pornographic material should ask for ID verification.
However, there is no clear definition of what “substantial pornographic material” implies.
This is not the first time that such a law has been passed. The UK passed the Digital Economy Act that proposed verification for the usage of porn sites. But the act was dropped due to privacy concerns. Tech experts have stated that providing such information can be an issue.
They also raised security concerns stating such information should not be accessible through a website database. Bill HB142 might be well intended, but it completely disrespects users’ digital freedom and privacy.
There are also concerns that such laws can later be used to restrict people from accessing certain content. Using this bill as an example, what if authorities start restricting online content for users of all ages? This can lead to a severe issue, and users might be left with partial access to the internet.
There are features like Parental controls, supervised accounts, and firewalls that can help parents ensure that their children do not have access to age-restricted content.
Websites are introducing multiple new features to safeguard children from malicious content. The requirement of ID verification for adult users seems quite useless and intrusive.
Why is ID Verification a Breach Of Privacy?
Let’s assume that users provide their IDs for age verification. It is obvious that data will be stored on the website database forever. Even if a website claims it is not saving user data, they still have access to information like people’s age, addresses, and ID numbers. No one can ensure that these websites will not use the data in the future.
Users’ online activity is already monitored with the help of IP addresses. If we added ID verification to the mix, users are leaving a trail of their internet history behind them which can be misused. In the event of a data breach, such information can harm individuals.
According to various research studies, most users prefer to avoid sharing their information online. Even most parents are okay with their children accessing age-restricted content if they have partial knowledge of their activities. Most importantly, these ID verifications are a definite intrusion of privacy.
Users’ will have to eventually take matters into their own hands to avoid incidents that can lead to their data being leaked online.
Online users need to be vigilant about the content they upload online. Most users feel operating under anonymous names online will safeguard their online activity. However, this does not ensure anything. Even if you use a good VPN service to hide your online activity, you are still at risk. That is why asking for visitor ID verification is a ticking bomb for internet users’ privacy.
In today’s time and age, users need to protect themselves online. If bills like these are passed without preventive measures, they pave the way for potential user data breaches. It is a well-known fact that most adult sites do not have strong security for their database.
Authorities have not considered data breaches. Hackers can misuse users’ IDs if they get their hands on them. Nowadays, internet browsing without proper protection is a risk.
If the officials do not provide alternatives soon, then the ID verification procedure will endanger the privacy of many internet users.