22 votes

Australia wants to use face recognition for porn age verification

11 comments

  1. [6]
    HanakoIsBestGirl
    Link
    Im not sure it even requires explaining how stupid of an idea this is privacy wise. Please stop becoming China. But how does Australia expect to enforce this? Most websites arent Aussie and wont...

    Im not sure it even requires explaining how stupid of an idea this is privacy wise. Please stop becoming China.

    But how does Australia expect to enforce this? Most websites arent Aussie and wont care about Aussie law. Are they going to block all the non-compliant sites? Good luck. Knowing Aus you will just need to change your DNS to unblock the sites anyway. What about sites that host normal content too, like reddit (if they refuse to comply, that is).

    And good luck stopping a determined teenager...

    I think the "What could possibly go wrong?" Subtitle summarises this quite well.

    13 votes
    1. thundergolfer
      Link Parent
      People in our government are fucking idiots, to the near highest degree. Our federal environment minister put an extra "s" in her name because she believes in numerology and apparently with the...

      People in our government are fucking idiots, to the near highest degree. Our federal environment minister put an extra "s" in her name because she believes in numerology and apparently with the extra "s" her name 'adds up to a better life'.

      That's our environment minister in 2019, when the threat of Climate change could kill millions.

      Australia is basically a kakistocracy. Full of dumb puppets with billionaire miners and media magnates pulling the strings they don't even realise they have.

      10 votes
    2. [4]
      puffin
      Link Parent
      I'm assuming that this will somehow implemented as a DNS-level verification (if the original system of asking porn sites themselves to verify age falls through), redirecting a user to an external...

      I'm assuming that this will somehow implemented as a DNS-level verification (if the original system of asking porn sites themselves to verify age falls through), redirecting a user to an external site for verification upon attempt to connect to a porn site. Like you said, it would be plain impractical to implement otherwise.

      However, this brings the question of sites like Reddit, with porn in specific parts only. It would be a unprecedented invasion of privacy to snoop on every content request going through the ISP, not to mention the complexity of filtering every site known to teens to contain porn.

      4 votes
      1. [3]
        HanakoIsBestGirl
        Link Parent
        Surely you can avoid DNS level verification by just changing your DNS server? And I bet (im theorising here) that whatever website you get redirected to in order to verify will be slow and crashy....

        Surely you can avoid DNS level verification by just changing your DNS server?

        And I bet (im theorising here) that whatever website you get redirected to in order to verify will be slow and crashy. It'll probably just get ddosed.

        This is another case of polticians not understanding technology.

        3 votes
        1. ReapersGale
          Link Parent
          Yeah that's exactly how it's bypassed (for the block they did on torrent sites at least) - I was interested in seeing how it worked when they first launched it and my existing network...

          Yeah that's exactly how it's bypassed (for the block they did on torrent sites at least) - I was interested in seeing how it worked when they first launched it and my existing network configuration was already bypassing it.

          5 votes
        2. puffin
          Link Parent
          You are right. If it is a DNS-level block, changing the DNS server used should allow you to circumvent the block. It would be hard to say how well the actual face verification system would work....

          You are right. If it is a DNS-level block, changing the DNS server used should allow you to circumvent the block.

          It would be hard to say how well the actual face verification system would work. If left to the porn sites themselves (through an API or something similar), whether to ask for verification would probably be determined through the geographical location corresponding with your IP. This may not be the best approach in terms of privacy - assuming anything in this process is private - your personal ID / face would be passing through a potentially sketchy porn site.

          There are many factors affecting whether this system would work. I believe the biggest flaw with the system is lack of any respect to personal privacy.

          5 votes
  2. 9000
    Link
    I mean, the privacy implications here are awful. This is a clear case of mission-creep where a previously constrained government database has been expanded in breadth and depth until they want to...

    "Home Affairs is developing a Face Verification Service which matches a person’s photo against images used on one of their evidence of identity documents to help verify their identity," the government agency wrote in a recent regulatory filing. "This could assist in age verification, for example by preventing a minor from using their parent’s driver license to circumvent age verification controls."

    I mean, the privacy implications here are awful. This is a clear case of mission-creep where a previously constrained government database has been expanded in breadth and depth until they want to use it for mundane cases in addition to relatively important ones.

    However, I feel like even if I agreed with the Australian government's values and goals, I still wouldn't want to use this route. Like, what feels more likely: a minor stealing their parent's ID without them noticing, perhaps regularly (depending on how the system is implemented), or that minors will have false positive matches in such a large database? Honestly, my gut says the latter. At some point the government will have to choose between preventing false negatives and false positives, and both of those rates sound high to me. Now, my hunches are not data, but I don't think the Australian government has any on the rates of children stealing their parents IDs to watch porn, either.

    Not to mention how easy it is to circumvent this system and access foreign porn sites, even if they're ostensibly blocked. Teenagers aren't dumb, and often have a lot of time on their hands.

    7 votes
  3. jgb
    Link
    It's like they saw what the brain-dead Tory cabinet tried to implement here in the UK and aimed to do the same thing, but even worse

    It's like they saw what the brain-dead Tory cabinet tried to implement here in the UK and aimed to do the same thing, but even worse

    7 votes
  4. mrbig
    Link
    I always looked younger than my real age. At 21, some people thought I looked like 16. I would have missed so much porn!

    I always looked younger than my real age. At 21, some people thought I looked like 16. I would have missed so much porn!

    3 votes
  5. [2]
    Kuromantis
    Link
    Guess they didn't learn their lesson. Rant But seriously, why do this? Why ban porn for all below 18 instead of rating it 12+ to 18+ based on whether the women look like they're enjoying it, or...

    Guess they didn't learn their lesson.

    Rant But seriously, why do this? Why ban porn for all below 18 instead of rating it 12+ to 18+ based on whether the women look like they're enjoying it, or whether the fetishes are light things like thighighs or heavy like BDSM, or just forcing porn makers to disclose that actually having sex with your step-siblings is illegal and about how the actresses have years of experience and are used to penises unlike lots of women or encourage condom usage? Also facial recognition? How does that prove one over 18? What about false positives? And isn't that in ID documents? Why not use that?
    2 votes
    1. Grzmot
      Link Parent
      I've always thought that embracing porn rather than forbidding it is the way to go. Sponsor the right content, where both people are clearly enjoying it and everything shown is at least grounded...

      I've always thought that embracing porn rather than forbidding it is the way to go. Sponsor the right content, where both people are clearly enjoying it and everything shown is at least grounded in reality. You could even hide little tidbits of information in them like showing someone putting a condom on a penis or asking during sex if everything is okay, shit like that. I think PSAs at the beginning or end would just get skipped. You'd just have to do it in a way that isn't pure fucking cringe.

      For kinkier content make sure to have the actors at the end sit down and show that everything shown was not real. Locking off the content based on age isn't going to help, cause you'll just end up at the same problem of actually verifying the age again. In all honesty, even giving age recommandations for pornographic content might just drive teenagers towards the content labelled for later ages, cause teenagers want to be adults very badly.

      Age verification isn't technically feasible to implement in a way that it actually verifies age. It's just not possible, and every conceived way is a privacy nightmare for citizens.

      3 votes