BBFC fails to explain its porn privacy scheme at meeting 300m from its office

Following a roundtable meeting with Age Verification providers, the Open Rights Group (ORG) has demanded that the British Board for Film Classification (BBFC) meet with ORG to discuss their privacy scheme, which BBFC hope will protect some visitors to pornographic websites.

Pornographic websites will soon have to verify the age of their website visitors, under the Digital Economy Act 2017. Late last year, BBFC added a voluntary privacy scheme to ensure that at least some of the age verification systems would be privacy protective. The Act, however, contains no powers which could make the scheme compulsory.

BBFC have to date failed to explain if their Age Verification scheme will be consulted on publicly, and which company is being used to run the scheme.

BBFC did not attend a roundtable with Age Verification providers and privacy experts organised by the Open Rights Group this morning, three hundred meters from BBFC’s offices.

Jim Killock, Executive Director of Open Rights Group said:

“In our meeting today, it was clear that private consultation had begun and a company had been appointed to run the privacy certification scheme.

“But good privacy schemes are written in public, with consultation and as much input as possible. Writing a scheme like this in the dark is very risky, as very important risks might be missed.

“It is also clear that the privacy scheme needs to be compulsory. All Age Verification products need to be in the scheme, not just a few, if users’ data is going to be protected.

“Data leaks of sexual habits could lead to relationships being impacted, individuals being outed and even suicides. The BBFC's privacy scheme matters.

“We were disappointed that the BBFC did not attend our roundtable, which was held three hundred meters from their office.”

More information

https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2019/we-met-to-discuss-bbfcs-voluntary-age-verification-privacy-scheme-but-bbfc-did-not-attend

Jim Killock, Executive Director Open Rights Group

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