Technology

Australia Proposes Face Verification Service for Porn Users

Technology

The Australian government is seeking to have face verification service for porn users in a probe to deter children from accessing porn online.

The government seeks to develop a facial recognition system that will verify the age of those accessing online porn since the current law does not have such prohibition.

The proposal which has been drafted by the Department of Home Affairs expects to have a user’s face to be matched with his/her image on the official identification documents. However, how the users will submit their face scans has not been discussed yet.

Even before the proposal has reached the takeoff stage, it has spurred objections over the fact that the bill if passed would violate the Australians’ privacy.

This is the same case with the British government’s initiative which aimed to have pornography providers verify if their users are of legal age.

Under this initiative, users were required to prove they were of legal age to verification services using IDs or retailed verified cards.

However, in this age of VPNs, users could still access without any verification hence the government’s efforts flopped.

Instead of getting discouraged, the Australian government is determined to do things differently through developing identity matching services.

Australia’s proposal comes at a time when Americans are also debating on phasing out facial recognition systems for surveillance purposes. This objection is based on the likelihood of infringement of human rights and privacy.

San Francisco has already banned the technology thus it is the first American city to ban facial recognition technology.

For the British government, this is not the case as they view the technology as an effective tool for promoting public safety. The government believes in regulating the use of the technology instead of an actual ban.

A British court ruling ascertained that the system neither violates privacy nor the basic human rights of its citizens.

Although the Australian proposal is still just a notion, the government has shown tremendous support for the facial recognition service.

This will only be passed as law when approved by parliament.

The parliament is yet to approve the Department of Home Affairs’ access to the Central Identity Database to be used in a national-face matching system.

Once approved, the department will go-ahead to implement the face verification service for pornography and gambling. The department is hopeful that the initiative will help prevent minors from using their parent’s driving license to get access to pornography.

Meanwhile, a joint parliamentary committee formed to chair discussions on intelligence and security has rejected the bill proposed by the Department of Home Affairs to have access to the Central Identity Database.

The committee has asked the department to reproduce a redraft of the bill as the previous one failed to show limitations and safeguards of the bill. The redraft is expected to have more details on the same.

Unless the redraft is approved, the facial verification system will not be approved as well. So the Department of Home Affairs needs to do their homework right this time round.

If the facial verification system is passed, the system will be availed to both the government and the private sector. However, the private sector will require their consumer’s consent before conducting the face scans.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/29/world/australia/pornography-facial-recognition.html

About the author

Rodgers Panato

Rodgers Panato

Rodgers Panato (aka Saito Rodger) is an experienced technology news writer who is extremely curious about the tech-world. He has written broadly on the latest gadgets, Google, Facebook, cybersecurity and nearly everything technology. In fact, Saito is the kind of person who’s ever willing and ready to replace his tech-collections with the most recent computer, the most updated software, the latest phone and the most recent electric car (although subject to affordability). Besides his passion, he has a unique style of sharing content that makes it super easy to read, enjoyable and informative, something that has earned him readers all over the globe.

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