Pornhub Will Now Check Government IDs in This State. Is Yours Next?

A state law passed in June requires sites with sexually explicit material to verify that its viewers are at least 18 years of age.

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By Gabrielle Bienasz

Courtesy Envoc.
LA Wallet system.

In June, the 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, effective in 2023.

It's already started on the popular pornography site Pornhub, according to TechCrunch.

A Twitter post seemed to show how the new process works, by making an account through the site AllpassTrust, which collaborates with LA Wallet, the state's digital ID service.

Pornhub reassures users in the notice that it does not hold any user data. In 2018, the site reported that it had 33.5 billion visits. Per the company's annual data drop (from its "intrepid statisticians"), the site sees the most daily traffic from the U.S.

A project manager for LA Wallet's producer told local outlet WAFB in December that personal information would not be stored.

"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," they said.

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.

It holds the companies fully liable in court for exposure and related damages.

As The Verge noted, a bill 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, per WAFB. 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 told WAFB, related to the pornography bill.

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, per VICE. (The outlet accessed the age verification check using a VPN, which people can use to avoid the requirement.)

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.

Schlegel told Fox News the bill holds online businesses to similar standards as in-person ones that are required to check IDs.

Gabrielle Bienasz

Entrepreneur Staff

Gabrielle Bienasz is a staff writer at Entrepreneur. She previously worked at Insider and Inc. Magazine. 

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