Skip to content

Australia proposes face-recognition program to fight underage porn access

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By CNA News
10/29/2019 (2 weeks ago)
Catholic Online (

A government department in Australia has proposed the use of a face recognition system to curb underage access to online pornography, but the idea has been met with concerns over privacy.


By CNA News
Catholic Online (
10/29/2019 (2 weeks ago)

Published in Asia Pacific


Canberra, Australia, (CNA) - A government department in Australia has proposed the use of a face recognition system to curb underage access to online pornography, but the idea has been met with concerns over privacy.

The Department of Home Affairs wrote to a House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs that it could offer a "suite of identity-matching services," reported business tech news site ZDNet this week.

Among possible uses for this technology, the department emphasized the use of a face verification service to restrict teens and children from accessing online pornography. The system would match people's faces with their identification document in government records.

Current efforts to verify users' age on pornographic websites include requiring users to enter a date of birth or upload identification documents. However, the Home Affairs department said, these methods can be easily circumvented by minors entering a parent's driver's license information.

An identity-matching service would provide a more reliable method of age verification, and could also be used for other age-restricted online activities, such as gambling, it said.

"Whilst they are primarily designed to prevent identity crime, Home Affairs would support the increased use of the Document and Face Verification Services across the Australian economy to strengthen age verification processes," said the Department of Home Affairs, according to ZDNet.

Before the program takes place, a piece of biometric legislation - the Identity-matching Services Bill 2019 - must first be approved by parliament. However, last week, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security demanded the entire bill be redrafted.

The committee expressed concern that the bill would allow the Department of Home Affairs to have too much surveillance power. It said the bill should be rewritten with a focus on "privacy, transparency and subject to robust safeguards," the Guardian reported.

"In the committee's view, robust safeguards and appropriate oversight mechanisms should be explained clearly in the legislation," said Committee Chair Andrew Hastie, according to the Guardian.

The United Kingdom also tried to implement an age verification system, which would have required porn users to verify their age by entering their credit card information or purchasing a temporary porn pass. The program was originally scheduled to go into effect in April 2018, but encountered numerous technical problems and objections from critics who were concerned about privacy violations. After its implementation was delayed numerous times, the program was officially dropped on Oct. 16.


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'

Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK


More Asia Pacific

New Zealand to hold referendum on euthanasia, assisted suicide Watch

Image of Parliament House Wellington

The New Zealand Parliament voted in favor of legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide Wednesday, sending the bill to a referendum next ... continue reading

UPDATED: Australian High Court refers Cardinal Pell's appeal of sex abuse conviction Watch

Image of Cardinal George Pell

The Australian High Court announced Wednesday that Cardinal George Pell's application for special leave to appeal has been refferred to the ... continue reading

Mother Teresa Award given to group that exposed organ trafficking in China Watch

Image of China's flag

An award named after Mother Teresa was given this week for outstanding efforts in social justice to a U.S.-based non-profit that has ... continue reading

Former Melbourne cathedral workers doubt Pell abuse could have occurred Watch

Image of Cardinal Pell speaks with journalists after being charged with sexual abuse

Two former employees of the cathedral school in Melbourne, Australia are expressing strong doubts about the charges that landed Cardinal ... continue reading

Chinese authorities offer land for new church after demolition protest Watch

Image of

Chinese authorities have offered a compensation to a Catholic community for the destruction of their church. The offer comes after ... continue reading

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.