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UK mulls using AI to lock out porn sites for underage users

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In one of the use cases of AI, the UK telecoms regulator Office of Communications (or Ofcom) has proposed new age-check guidance by the use of AI-based technology to block those underage from accessing pornographic sites.

The UK recently passed the Online Safety Act which requires sites and apps that display or publish pornographic content to ensure that children are not able to access pornography on their service.

“Regardless of their approach, we expect all services to offer robust protection to children from stumbling across pornography, and also to take care that privacy rights and freedoms for adults to access legal content are safeguarded,” said Ofcom CEO Melanie Dawes. The legal age to watch porn in Britain is 18 or over.

How AI will help in block access

The regulator described its suggestion on facial age estimation as using AI technology to analyse a viewer’s features. This may require taking a selfie on a device and uploading it. The proposed guidance also includes photo identification matching, requiring a user to upload a photo ID such as passport or driving licence to prove their age, and credit card checks.

Privacy threats
As per a report by news agency Reuters, free-market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs said mandatory age verification will threaten user privacy and may expose users to breaches and abuse by increasing the amount of sensitive data held by third parties. Ofcom expects to publish its final guidance in early 2025.

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The Online Safety Act has been a matter of debate between tech companies and the UK government, which asked platforms such as WhatsApp and Signal to allow access to Ofcom to be able to ask the platforms to monitor users to identify and remove child-abuse material.

While Britain says that the law is necessary to protect kids, WhatsApp and Signal have been opposing it, saying that the law will undermine the apps’ end-to-end encryption.

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UK mulls using AI to lock out porn sites for underage users

In one of the use cases of AI, the UK telecoms regulator Office of Communications (or Ofcom) has proposed new age-check guidance by the use of AI-based technology to block those underage from accessing pornographic sites.

The UK recently passed the Online Safety Act which requires sites and apps that display or publish pornographic content to ensure that children are not able to access pornography on their service.

“Regardless of their approach, we expect all services to offer robust protection to children from stumbling across pornography, and also to take care that privacy rights and freedoms for adults to access legal content are safeguarded,” said Ofcom CEO Melanie Dawes. The legal age to watch porn in Britain is 18 or over.

How AI will help in block access

The regulator described its suggestion on facial age estimation as using AI technology to analyse a viewer’s features. This may require taking a selfie on a device and uploading it. The proposed guidance also includes photo identification matching, requiring a user to upload a photo ID such as passport or driving licence to prove their age, and credit card checks.

Privacy threats
As per a report by news agency Reuters, free-market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs said mandatory age verification will threaten user privacy and may expose users to breaches and abuse by increasing the amount of sensitive data held by third parties. Ofcom expects to publish its final guidance in early 2025.

Read Also

Metas updated AI makes text-to-speech generation more seamless and expressive
OpenAI unveils SantaGPT What is it availability how to access SantaGPT and more

The Online Safety Act has been a matter of debate between tech companies and the UK government, which asked platforms such as WhatsApp and Signal to allow access to Ofcom to be able to ask the platforms to monitor users to identify and remove child-abuse material.

While Britain says that the law is necessary to protect kids, WhatsApp and Signal have been opposing it, saying that the law will undermine the apps’ end-to-end encryption.

FacebookTwitterLinkedin



end of article

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