After pornography, age controls could be extended to social networks – Journal du geek

At the start of the summer, attempts to regulate the online pornography industry were dealt a setback that looked like a failure. After months of intense debates between web platforms and the French authorities, the government finally decided to postpone its July 7, 2023 decision due to the lack of a satisfactory consensus. A brief respite for the giants of the adult industry, who are now being cornered from all sides on an international level.

Double anonymity as an ideal solution?

Before the government’s decision to postpone, double anonymity seemed to have emerged as the most reliable solution and the most respectful of users’ privacy. Safer and less intrusive than a selfie or presenting an ID card (two solutions mentioned at the beginning of the year before being quickly dismissed), the majority’s double anonymity verification is based on a Certificate of majority valid for three years, which can be presented upon simple request by a telecommunications operator, digital identity provider or other organization capable of confirming an individual’s majority. Specifically, the organization issuing the majority certificate does not know why it is required. For its part, the site where the certificate is used does not have access to the person’s identity, but rather to a simple authorization token.

Thanks to this method, the government hopes to introduce a reliable authentication method for adults without compromising the right to privacy. Because the topic is being debated here. On the one hand, the protection of minors is essential, but on the other hand, it seems dangerous to “track” the online activities of Internet users without guaranteeing the protection of their private life. The possibility of completely removing anonymity has already been discussed and sounds like a damaging move for defenders of individual rights.

A French method already in use

While double anonymity represents “the most robust system” so far, according to Arcom, the CNIL and the Minister Delegate for Digital Jean-Noël Barrot, a French company is acting at the vanguard. The Greenbadg company has been testing its device for several months. First on the porn platform Tukif, with optional but effective verification of the majority directly via a smartphone.

Recently, the Marseille start-up formalized a partnership with the giant Dorcel and then with the CBD sales platform High Society. “We are waiting for the promulgation of the SREN law,” Jacky Lamraoui, founder and CEO of Greenbadg, tells us. “We are already ready, when the law is applied we will be there.” Other companies, which are among the most impressive in the porn industry, should in turn join the movement.

Also social networks?

With debates postponed until last week, the SREN law and the protection of minors on adult websites could come into force on January 1 at the earliest. Arcom is preparing to release a repository before the end of the year, and pornographic sites could be just the tip of the iceberg. “The logical next step is that the sale of CBD, alcohol and sports betting are regulated equally,” explains Jacky Lamraoui. “Ultimately, social networks could also be subject to this type of scrutiny. We are in constant contact with the big players in the industry, that is definitely possible.”

In Ensuring the minimum age for access to social networks, authorities could kill two birds with one stone by protecting young people from premature access to online platforms, but also setting different restrictions depending on the content. A few days ago we learned that adult content creators could soon be banned from promoting their Mym or OnlyFans accounts, just as influencers are already no longer allowed to promote content like sports betting or online gaming on a platform for minors accessible platform.