Could Spain block children’s access to sexual content?

access to the pornography It has normalized among the little ones. In Spain, more and more minors consume sex videos for adults and they start earlier each time, with the average age of that first interaction being 14 years, according to a study of 2019. This reality is transversal to many countries, which has made age verification to access certain Internet content become a shared objective. That restriction is not an easy task.

dodge the law

The Spanish legislation of Data Protection expressly requires web pages to verify the age of users who access them. The text sets the minimum age at which minors can give their consent for their personal data to be processed at 14 years. Those who are 13 or younger will need the approval of their legal guardians. Social networks like Instagram and platforms like Youtube have come to ask for the ID from users to try to verify their age.

However, “the law does not specify by what means they must verify age,” explains Jorge García Herrero, a lawyer specializing in data protection. That makes that legal requirement easy to get around. The giants of porn like pornhub either xvideos they limit themselves to putting a button with which users say they are of legal age, a mechanism that allows them to cover their backs but is a dead letter when it comes to limiting access to that content. Minors can lie and click on the button to evade this control and continue consuming pornography.

“There is no evidence that editors and publishers of adult content in Spain use any effective method to verify the age of majority of users, beyond requests to the user himself to confirm his age,” denounces the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) in a report on the matter.

Data Protection

France wants to create a “digital certificate” that forces Internet users to verify their age without exposing your anonymity. The second part of the sentence is key. And it is that this problem highlights a dilemma that has not yet been resolved: how to protect minors on the Internet without their identification being a violation of their privacy?

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In the United States, the state of Louisiana requires since January 1 to present a copy of the DNI before entering pornographic websites. That legal requirement could not be applied in the European Union (EU), as it would in all probability entail a violation of the anonymity of the Internet user In 2021, the People’s Party (PP) proposed to modify the Spanish law to force users to identify themselves by using their identity card, a proposal that did not prosper.

“Experts have been thinking about it for years and a solution has not yet been reached, there is no simple method,” adds García Herrero. One of the ways proposed to date, he points out, is that there be a trusted third party that operates between the user and the website and that you can verify the age respecting data protection. We will have to wait to see if the French experiment works. “It would be a success,” concludes the lawyer.

Source of data and images: elperiodico

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