"'Age verification could lead to porn companies building databases of the UK's porn habits, which could be vulnerable to Ashley Madison style hacks,' argued Open Rights Group director Jim Killock."
This is indeed the case, and the inevitable outcome of the government’s “plan” as it stands. But it may not be the porn companies building the database of who prefers spanking to and prefers foot fetishism (hint: MPs). It may be the government. I heard the “Digital Minister” Matt Hancock interviewed on the BBC’s Today programme about his half-baked ideas. He said that people visiting porn sites could show their passports to gain access. This is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard a Minister say (and that’s against some pretty stiff competition) for two reasons: first off all it would lead to a massive increase in crime (identity theft, blackmail and so on) and it would also give the Home Office a treasure trove of personal data that they would find irresistible.
Suppose I decide to visit “The Honourable Members”. The web site operator, let’s call them “Filthy Fun” (registered in Mozambique), asks for my passport. Now, the only organisation that can verify whether a passport is valid or not is the Home Office. So, Filthy Fun sends my passport details to the Home Office and the Home Office checks them and tells Filthy Fun that the passport is valid. I’m logged. (Of course, Filthy Fun have no idea whether it’s me at the keyboard or not, but whatever.)
Note though that the Home Office now knows which porn sites I’m visiting.
I’ve written so many times