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Pornhub Begins Age Verification Process in Compliance with Louisiana Law

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In June, Louisiana state legislature passed a bill that requires sites with a certain percentage of sexually explicit material to verify the age of visitors to the site, which will be effective starting in 2023. The popular pornography site Pornhub has already begun implementing the new process, according to TechCrunch.

The process involves creating an account through the site AllpassTrust, which collaborates with LA Wallet, the state’s digital ID service. Pornhub reassures users in a notice on their site that it does not hold any user data. In 2018, the site reported that it had 33.5 billion visits, and according to the company’s annual data drop, the site sees the most daily traffic from the United States.

A project manager for LA Wallet’s producer stated that personal information would not be stored and that “It doesn’t identify your date of birth, it doesn’t identify who you are, where you live, what part of the state you’re in, or any information from your device or from your actual ID. It just returns that age to say that yes, this person is old enough to be allowed to go in,”

The Louisiana bill requires websites with over “thirty-three and one-third percent” of material on their sites focused on sexually explicit content to verify the age of visitors and that they are over 18. The companies would be fully liable in court for exposure and related damages. It’s worth mentioning that this bill is similar to Louisiana’s, requiring age verification on a federal level, has been introduced in Congress by Senator Mike Lee of Utah.

A key sponsor of Louisiana’s bill, Laurie Schlegel, has been a counselor for people with sex addictions, and she also advocated for a bill that prevented youth from participating in a sport in a gender category different than what was assigned at birth that was seen as targeting transgender youth over the summer.

“Pornography is destroying our children and they’re getting unlimited access to it on the internet and so if the pornography companies aren’t going to be responsible, I thought we need to go ahead and hold them accountable,” Schlegel said. The law specifically exempts news organizations from the requirement.

Pornhub appears to be complying with the new law, but others, such as XVideos, have not. There are concerns about privacy issues, such as data leaks or the potential for people who watch porn related to LGBTQ topics, for example, to be noted or stored, per TechCrunch. But Schlegel stated that the bill holds online businesses to similar standards as in-person ones that are required to check IDs.