Pornhub's AgeID Age Verification Tool Unveiled For The UK

The AgeID technology will be used to verify if you're over 18.

Mindgeek, the owner of Pornhub, has unveiled an online age verification tool which it is calling AgeID.

The technology will be used across all of its sites as a response to a new law in the UK that, starting in April, will require all adult websites to verify the age of those visiting them.

It's not yet clear what AgeID will look like but we do know that it will require users to securely login to each site.
It's not yet clear what AgeID will look like but we do know that it will require users to securely login to each site.
filistimlyanin via Getty Images

Once the The Digital Economy Act 2017 is implemented, all those wishing to view their sites in the UK will be asked to “Verify my Age” using its AgeID login. According to Mindgeek AgeID is a one-time verification that once confirmed will allow the person to visit any subsequent website that uses AgeID without having to re-confirm their age.

It’s not actually clear how AgeID will confirm a person’s age but the company claims that it will use “regulator approved methodology” to issue a simple “pass” or “fail” to the visitor.

For those worried about data protection, the company says that it won’t store any personal data, instead it’ll just keep “standard technical data” that will allow you to login in across multiple sites.

While this is the first time the UK has ever implemented an age-gating process for content on the internet, it’s not the first time this has happened in the world.

AgeID is already in use in Germany where a similar law requires that everyone should verify whether or not they are over 18 before visiting an adult site.

While AgeID won’t be the only age verification tool around, Mindgeek has said that it will offer its technology to any third-party site that wants to use it. While independent studios, bloggers and filmmakers will be able to use AgeID for free, the company has said it will charge a variable flat-rate fee for larger sites depending on how popular they are.

There are of course concerns about the system, not least because it potentially places an unusual amount of regulatory power into the hands of Mindgeek which also just so happens to own some of the world’s largest porn sites.

Then there are concerns about privacy, and while Mindgeek stresses that it stores no personal data, it’s not yet clear about how it will use the technical data to monitor your usage of those sites.

Finally there’s the issue of how the age verification will take place. Last year when the law was first announced it became clear that if the age verification was to be carried out via a credit card, it could forcibly exclude those who can’t afford one.

What we do know though is that should the law be passed, all sites containing any adult content will need to have an age-verification tool in place.


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