back to article Junior minister says gov.UK considering facial recognition to verify age of p0rn-watchers

The UK government could use facial recognition to verify the age of Brits online "so long as there is an appropriate concern for privacy," junior minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Matt Warman said. The minister was responding to an urgent Parliamentary question directed to Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan about the …

  1. Andrew Moore
    Coat

    Surely...

    ...they can implement this using AI and Blockchain...

    1. NiteDragon

      Re: Surely...

      You've clearly been subjected to the same sort of meetings I have (where Marketing somehow manage to get a say in IT strategy)

      1. Andrew Moore

        Re: Surely...

        The best is where they keep repeating "blockchain" but you know what they really mean is "cryptocurrency"

    2. Oliver Mayes

      Re: Surely...

      You need to throw a few quantum and crypto-somethings in there first if you want the tender.

    3. gerdesj Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Surely...

      ... and hashtags. Don't forget the hashtags.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Thoguht Silver badge

      All device accounts are connected to online accounts these days (Apple, Google, MS).

      It may come as a shock to you, but not everyone is a moron.

      1. JohnMurray

        In government, moron everybody is...

      2. Andrew Moore

        Then what they do is bring in a law making it illegal not to be a moron.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          RE: Then what they do is bring in a law making it illegal not to be a moron.

          It seems to have worked OK in the red states of the USA

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I'm sure everyone here appreciates you ridiculing their mental health.

          Not.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Not really, I just don't want all these companies to have every single piece of information about my life so they can sell me cat food even though I don't own a cat. There's also the fact that at some point some governments are going to look at the Chinese model and think it's a good idea, at least you'll be safe as you already share everything, I just hope you have never criticised the government.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            What do you mean "look at the Chinease model"

            There are already blocked IP addresses

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The OP doesn't seem to understand that it's possible to set up local accounts not linked to google or microsoft

    3. JohnFen Silver badge

      "All device accounts are connected to online accounts these days (Apple, Google, MS)."

      This is simply untrue.

    4. Persona Bronze badge

      And do Apple, Google or MS verify your age? No they don't. So any 10 year old could come along and set up an account and claim that they are over the legal age ..... which varies by country making it even more unlikely that it would be a function those 3 would ever choose to provide.

      1. keb

        Apple asks for a credit card for Store purchases but that isnt hard to grab from daddy's sporran when he isnt looking.

  3. Ben Tasker Silver badge

    Facial?

    Maybe they should go view some cams on chatroulette/omegle/whatever they're using nowadays to see "what" they're more likely to be recognising if you look at the camera of someone looking for porn....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Facial?

      Perhaps they have, did you check those sites for Johnsons?

      1. stiine Silver badge

        Re: Facial?

        Do you mean boring or Boris?

    2. Andrew Jones 2

      Re: Facial?

      Chaturbate - yes, it's EXACTLY what it sounds like. I can only image the marketing for this one...

      "Hey - do you like chatting online? Do you like masturbating while anonymous strangers watch you? Why not do it online! Chaturbate"

    3. Mike007

      Re: Facial?

      "Are you able to demonstrate that you are sexually mature enough to consent to the viewing of pornographic context?"

      "What does it look like to you?"

      "Looks like I should get out of the way and let you have access to porn"

      However there is a potential discrimination aspect to this verification mechanism, as not many laptops are equipped with moisture sensors that can be read by a web page.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Facial?

        ""Are you able to demonstrate that you are sexually mature enough to consent to the viewing of pornographic context?""

        The UK legal definition of "children" is under 18. IIRC male sexual maturity occurs for most before 16 - and for most the significant secondary sexual characteristics are in place long before 18.

        Most women would also appear sexually mature long before 18.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Facial?

          The increasing conflation of minors and children, particularly wherever sex is concerned, seems to be a deliberate strategy to elicit an emotional response rather than a rational one.

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    BREXIT must have addled their minds

    it has been going on for so long...

    And there are a number of US States actively banning facial recognition...

    Shows how out of touch everyone in Westminster is. (nothing new there then...)

    Next they will be wanting to add an hour so that the clock will really strike 13.

  5. iron Silver badge

    Since facial recognition tech is so famously poor this might actually be a good idea. We can all use pictures of Boris to prove we have reached fapping age!

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Halloween!

      Tis the season to be jolly, and doesn't everyone wear a lightly modified William Shatner* mask whilst watching pron?

      *Other masks, including political figures are available. Or there's the good'ol gimp mask, known to many Tories (allegedly).

      1. Flywheel Silver badge
        Gimp

        Re: Halloween!

        Obligatory XKCD Tory, Bin Bag, Oranges link.

        And an appropriate icon as well - thanks El Reg!!!

    2. vgrig_us

      I suddenly have this image in my mind of people of the earth masturbating in front of their computers wearing Richard Nixon masks...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "We can all use pictures of Boris to prove we have reached fapping age!"

      Hmm - judging by his tantrums - I am not sure he has progressed beyond the age of 5.

  6. sbt Silver badge
    Coat

    Celebrity masks not just for knocking off banks anymore

    Now also for knocking one out.

    Recession averted!

  7. John Robson Silver badge

    I think we could use gunpowder to blow up the houses of parliament - you know, once we account for ensuring all the MPs are in there.

    1. Ken 16 Silver badge

      How is this mask related?

      1. Cirieno

        Verily, this is a vexatious view vacantly voiced.

        -V

      2. tiggity Silver badge

        V for Vendetta - masks were prominent as was HoP blow up plot

      3. John Robson Silver badge

        It's not mask related - it's related to the we can do facial recognition for age verification "once we deal with the privacy issues"

    2. keb

      one would want a Guy Fawkes mask for such a dastardly deed

  8. Khaptain Silver badge

    "The UK government could use facial recognition to verify age "so long as there is an appropriate concern for privacy,"

    If you use facial recognition" doesn't that immediately rule out "privacy" of any kind ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you use facial recognition" doesn't that immediately rule out "privacy" of any kind ?

      I assumed some sort of machine learning age-estimation thing was meant, rather than the "Aha! You are Jo Bloggs" kind.

      (not really sure that'd be easy to reliably train, though, especially if you wanted under/over a specific age)

      1. Andrew Jones 2

        Re: If you use facial recognition" doesn't that immediately rule out "privacy" of any kind ?

        I mean I don't know about you - but I wouldn't be at all surprised, if the Government pretended it was AI and no-one ever saw the pictures, while paying a team of hundreds billions of pounds a year to sit and manually approve the requests in real-time.

        Lying and spending obscene amounts of money on it - sounds very UK Government to me.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: If you use facial recognition" doesn't that immediately rule out "privacy" of any kind ?

          No they will simply outsource the matching of images to Facebook, passports, driver licences, police facial recognition DBs to Facebook/Google DeepMind...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If you use facial recognition" doesn't that immediately rule out "privacy" of any kind ?

        The same way checkout operators in shops can tell exactly what age you are by looking at your face and never have to ask for ID with a 3 year margin of error and still ask this... not 20 year old... for ID when buying non alcoholic beer? An automated version of that?

        I foresee a return of precocious 16 year olds sporting beards...

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: If you use facial recognition" doesn't that immediately rule out "privacy" of any kind ?

          Or a run on beards from joke shops?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: If you use facial recognition" doesn't that immediately rule out "privacy" of any kind ?

            Don't be silly.

            Such devices for bypassing security measures will be banned.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      >"so long as there is an appropriate concern for privacy,"

      I think for government, just noting there is a privacy concern in a particular affected voice would count as showing appropriate concern, now move on...

  9. phuzz Silver badge

    "it would be silly to suggest that that is money wasted. It is money invested in protecting our children, and we will continue to do that."

    Surely if it's an investment, then you have something to show for it? As far as I can tell the only concrete result from that £2.2M (apart from trebles all round tin the boardroom of course), is the knowledge that an age verification system is a deeply flawed idea.

    However they still seem to want to set up such a system so it seems the one concrete result is useless.

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Surely if it's an investment, then you have something to show for it?

      You might think that, but I'm afraid I couldn't possibly comment.

      IIRC Gordon Brown was always talking about "investment" when "spending" would have been more appropriate; alternatively he would always boast about "inward investment" when what he really meant was that another bit of British business had been bought by a new foreign owner.

      Ah. This is obviously some strange usage of the word “investment” that I wasn’t previously aware of, as Arthur Dent didn't quite say.

      1. Kane Silver badge
        Joke

        "Ah. This is obviously some strange usage of the word “investment” that I wasn’t previously aware of, as Arthur Dent didn't quite say."

        Have you ever considered a career in advertising?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      SNP will roll out something far far worse, right before they outlaw ALL pornography as they class it as "Commercial Sexual Exploitation" of women and list it alongside various criminal offences....

      All on the scottish govt website for anyone who doubts their puritan nature....

      1. The Nazz Silver badge
        Devil

        Easier than that, just mandate that the first visible thumbnail on any porn site is that of the SNP's leader.

        God forbid, Nicolas Nicola.

        Sorry!!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I see the cybernats are out in force as always, ferverently downvoting any post that disrespects the "dear leader" and her intent to build either a free church of scotland version of Iran or turn Scotland into either the DDR or the DPRK....more likely a hybrid of both

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Obviously that *has* the reason you're being downvoted. It's not as if it's because you're posting foaming-at-the-mouth swivel-eyed shite now, is it? ;-)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            QUOTE:

            "Commercial Sexual Exploitation

            Purpose of the group

            We understand CSE to be a function of gender inequality, and a form of gender-based violence. We work to the Scottish Government’s National Violence Against Women and Girls Approach, Equally Safe, and their definition of Violence Against Women, which includes prostitution, pornography, trafficking, lap-dancing, stripping, pole-dancing and table-dancing as forms of commercial sexual exploitation. We believe that these activities have been shown to be harmful for individuals involved and can have a negative impact on the position of all women through the objectification of women’s bodies.

            We promote the pursuit of legislation which prevents and challenges demand for commercial sexual exploitation."

            taken from: https://www.parliament.scot/msps/commercial-sexual-exploitation.aspx

            You were saying about it being shite?

            Worse still the nats invited various virulently anti-sex groups to draft legislation (Nordic Model Now for one) while locking out and ignoring various sex positive feminist groups and workers collectives for those working in stripping, porn etc, many of who argue that the work suits them, the money allows them to live independent lives without welfare etc, that they are not exploited, that they (horror) enjoy the work

            So not just puritan porn ban but also blaming women who choose to work as strippers, porn stars etc for "harming other women", which I believe the colloquial term is "slut shaming"

            Just waiting for the myriad of excuses to start emerging.....or the strawperson arguments to justify mass censorship, mandating puritan behaviour codes through use of state power to criminalise the masses or use the threat of criminal charges and "sex offender" branding to brow beat the populace into compliance, not much different from Iran is it?

            Already had a SNP cllr of the ultra puritan "common weal" bent roll out the following line "I know you wouldn't be happy if it was your wife, sister, daughter, you would never allow it" she went purple when I quite calmly told her that "I trust any of them to use their own judgement and to make their own life choices, they have my support in whatever they choose to do with their life and if they ever need help or need to talk I'm there for them", she then went off on an apopleptic rant starting with "they are normalising misogyny and sexual violence and harming other women and MUST be stopped" by that time I had started to simply walk away so I didn't catch the rest.

  10. David Webb

    As you may have noticed, I sent you an email in your account.

    That means I have full access to your device and accounts. I've been watching you through the face recognition software on the s3x sites you have been visiting.

    Send $699 in BTC or I post the videos to your social media.

    .... calling it now, those are the next generation of emails, though they may even spoof westminster emails instead.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Please go ahead...

      I won't see any of those posts on Social Media. Any accounts purporting to be me in ZuckSnoop or other platforms are 100% fake.

      Ok, so seeing me in full drag might be a bit of a shock to my family but it would stop them calling me 'grumpy grandad'.

      Every cloud etc.

      1. David Webb

        Re: Please go ahead...

        Check your spam folder mate, you'll find lots and lots of emails on this subject, claiming to have taken over your webcam whilst you were taming the trouser snake. Older folks who need to take the blue pill to augment their reality may fall victim to such a scam, especially if their favourite websites require verification from TPTB.

        In other words, it's a stupid idea, though not as stupid as thinking I have a webcam pointed at my trouser snake.

        1. NetBlackOps

          Re: Please go ahead...

          I do, regularly, and still haven't seen one. I'm deprived!

        2. Andrew Jones 2

          Re: Please go ahead...

          While mostly I get those -

          I've also had several that tell me they are from people whose job it is - is to kill people. They then tell me they really don't want to do the job, so I could pay them not to kill me instead, otherwise they will have no choice - because it's their job after all.

          They are dark....

          I won't lie the first one I got, took me quite some time to decide it was fake.

    2. eldakka Silver badge

      Send $699 in BTC or I post the videos to your social media.

      Preventing some some mildly embarrassing videos like that from being released is not worth $699.

      It's not anymore embarrassing than a parent walking in on you masturbating when you are 15...

  11. 0laf Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Will it need to record your 'O' face?

    1. Imhotep

      And then your Oh! face when you receive the blackmail demand.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes - if you have to remove your glasses for passport photos, they will need a minimum of an O face...

      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Minimum of an O face

        Will an "Oh! God, Yes!!!" face do instead?

  12. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Coat

    House of Commons

    Install Facial Recognition technology at the Bars and Restaurants in Westminster and make it a condition that MPs have to pass Facial Recognition in order to get served. Let's see how long it is before they ask for the scheme to be scrapped

    1. Danny Boyd

      Re: House of Commons

      I wonder why nobody so far came up with term "Facial Automated Recognition Technology". Makes nice abbreviation.

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: House of Commons

        Don't give people ideas - someone may come up with a plan to collect farts as "biometric" data

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: House of Commons

          "[...] someone may come up with a plan to collect farts as "biometric" data"

          Done already. Using dogs to detect bowel cancer.

          Also the presence of hydrogen cyanide in a person's breath can indicate an infection.

        2. Dave 15

          Re: House of Commons

          Or tax them if the poor do one ... after all a fart contains methane, very bad for the environment

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: House of Commons

            "[...] after all a fart contains methane, very bad for the environment"

            Catch-22. A study had volunteers living on an ancient diet of raw vegetables for some time - very eco-friendly. One side effect was their venting of a high volume of fermentation gases.

  13. Dwarf Silver badge

    Umm - yet another poorly thought out idea

    Wasn't there previous work on facial recognition that couldn't tell the difference between monkeys and people, so how accurate will this be ?

    What stops someone holding up a picture in front of the camera - that always works

    What about people who do not have webcams ?

    What about those who consume the content with the lights off ?

    Will there be a requirement to keep the video feed active whilst, er. consuming the services

    As video processing takes time, will there be a need to upload the pictures - can't see an issue with a big mugshot database, it could be called the book of faces ...

    Strikes me that someone may be going off half-cocked on their ideas again ..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Umm - yet another poorly thought out idea

      What about people who don't have a monkey? Will they still be able to spank the monkey?

      1. Ogi

        Re: Umm - yet another poorly thought out idea

        What about people who don't have a monkey? Will they still be able to spank the monkey?

        Yes, they can borrow someone elses monkey for spanking (with their consent, of course)

        1. Keven E

          Re: Umm - yet another poorly thought out idea

          The monkey's consent or that someone's?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Umm - yet another poorly thought out idea

            "The monkey's consent or that someone's?"

            That brings up visions of Wicked Willie cartoons where he disagrees with his owner. NSFW

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Umm - yet another poorly thought out idea

        What about people who don't have a monkey? Will they still be able to spank the monkey?

        Just visit your MP - they are used to being Whipped

      3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Umm - yet another poorly thought out idea

        What about people who don't have a monkey? Will they still be able to spank the monkey?

        "Smack the Pony"?

        With apologies to Doon Mackichan et al

    2. Nolveys Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: Umm - yet another poorly thought out idea

      Wasn't there previous work on facial recognition that couldn't tell the difference between monkeys and people...?

      They could have engineered that out, but for sales demonstration purposes the system had to work on members of parliament.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Umm - yet another poorly thought out idea

        As a proud monkey I find any comparison to members of parliament offensive

    3. beast666

      Re: Umm - yet another poorly thought out idea

      Why would porn facial recognition need to distinguish between monkeys and people. Are monkeys banned from spanking in the UK?

    4. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Umm - yet another poorly thought out idea

      You can use the self check out till at the supermarket. It already has a screen, a speaker, and software to prompt for an age check if you're buying adult drinks or cutlery - it automatically summons a shop worker to help you complete your transaction. Some of them also have a, well, I hope not a web cam...

    5. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: Umm - yet another poorly thought out idea

      As video processing takes time, will there be a need to upload the pictures - can't see an issue with a big mugshot database, it could be called the book of faces ...

      I think they are using 'facial recognition' as a catch-all term for biometric identification that includes processing an image of a person to conduct the identification.

      I say this because it won't be your face that they'll be using for the photo-identification for porn sites...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This bit at least makes sense...

    ""I honestly believe that by doing this more slowly we will make a better impact overall.""

    The slower the better from where I'm sitting.

    On the other hand, and trying to be reasonable, I do accept that there is a problem when very young children can, and do, access pornography - particularly the non-vanilla 'genres'. It's not just a matter of better parenting because you can't be sure that your child's friends' parents are as good as you and they all have their own different devices, different skill levels and different degrees of ambition/curiosity/rebellion.

    This could very well be a three pipe problem so, yes, take your time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This bit at least makes sense...

      A good start is age appropriate sex education. Areas of the USA and UK are still well behind where many of our European neighbours were in the 1970s.

      UK naturists give a good example. Other people complain that their kids are - or would be - shocked to see a naked person. Of course they are only wanting them banned "for the sake of the children". Usually naturist family swims at public pools allow children to wear a swimming costume. When newcomers do that - it is only a few minutes before their kids have abandoned their costumes to be like their new pool peers. Kids treat nudity as their natural state - until punishment and shaming impose the social conditioning.

    2. Dave 15

      Re: This bit at least makes sense...

      Perhaps having a clue about your kids friends could be considered part of good parenting? There is also bound to be porn available in the playground, there was even when I was a kid and it was still on paper... if it wasn't stuck together

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You have nothing to fear

    unless the computer thinks you look like a paedo

  16. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Facial Recognition to verify porn access

    So, what happens if you don't like Bukake

    Maybe you start off merely being asked questions alluding to 'pearl necklaces' and such, kind of like Leisure Suit Larry.

    A move in the right direction, but just being able to verify facials is a little narrow, maybe ass rimming and such.

    Cosmeticians are going to think they've got an advantage.

  17. Teiwaz Silver badge

    6079 Smith W.

    Why automate it, run a webcam service with 2-way video morning workouts

    She stopped what she was doing, climbed off the rumpled sheets of the tacky pink circular bed, advanced on the camera, and delivered a stern matronly admonishment.

    "6079 Smith W.

    You're not trying, Pull harder, man.!!!"

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Facials for pron, sounds great.

  19. tony2heads
    Alert

    'Uncork the Gauke.'

    sounds to me a lot like 'release the kraken'

  20. tiggity Silver badge

    distinct lack of cameras

    On my computer setup

    Are the gov going to buy desktop users a webcam?

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: distinct lack of cameras

      Just get some sofware that emulates a webcam and sends a video of an octogenarian.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: distinct lack of cameras

        "sends a video of an octogenarian"

        To the web site, or to the would-be onanist?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: distinct lack of cameras

          "[...] or to the would-be onanist?"

          After a long term relationship broke up - a gay friend used Grindr to reconnect to a social life. He was shocked how many under-18s wanted someone of an age to be their father or grandfather. He met one or two for a coffee - in order to give them some friendly advice on the dangers they were running.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: distinct lack of cameras

        Damn you just gave away my new business idea

      3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: distinct lack of cameras

        Hugh Hefner. RIP. 91

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Hefner

        Peter Stringfellow. RIP. 78

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Stringfellow

  21. caffeine addict Silver badge

    Who needs porn when you can watch this clusterf*ck?

    I look forward to the inevitable news that this facial recognition system keeps watching after you are verified and the government has accidentally created a vast repository of self pleasure. Including lots of people under 18 years of age. Maybe the home office could arrest itself.

  22. mark l 2 Silver badge

    The government might has well just say they will send the magic unicorn's around to verify your age when you want to view pr0n. As that is more likely than the current crop of facial recognition ever working for age verification.

  23. desht

    With that level of abject stupidity, he'll make senior minister in no time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I can't help wondering if this is just a vaguely plausible excuse for kicking this further down the road

      When May or her advisors came up with age verification it sounded like an answer to a question the electorate were asking about protecting people online. As soon as any actual research was done amongst the electorate, it was discovered to be political suicide to implement.

      Rather than kill it and say money was wasted, they keep looking at "alternatives", gradually extending the time for each review until you cease being government.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Then under labour Harriet Harperson, Jess Phillips, Stella Creasy, Caroline Lucas, Mhairi Black (and the rest of the YESNP loons) will demand some far more intrusive scheme or just a complete outlawing of pornography as its "misogynistic" (despite the comment from Lord Bracadale in his review that there is no cleardefinition of misogyny even amongst those pushing for it to be a crime) "exposes other women to bias and harassment" "facilitates people trafficking and immoral behaviour" etc etc etc....

  24. Mr Dogshit

    Do they have

    the necessary hashtags?

  25. Teiwaz Silver badge

    so it would be silly to suggest that that is money wasted. It is money invested in protecting our children, and we will continue to do that."

    It might be silly to admit the money is wasted (or any responsibility, it seems), but not to conclude the money has been wasted, as indeed it seems to have been.

    1. veti Silver badge

      "Wasted" is a pretty subjective description. So long as it kept people in work and fended off stupid questions for a time, at least some people would consider that money well spent.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        wasted

        unfortunately, the money goes to some overpaid think-tank.

        What you're talking about amounts to '$5 dollars to go to the cinema for a couple of hours'.

        The facial recognition project will cost orders of magnitude to try to put in place before it, too is abandoned with a junior minister thrown in to drop the news.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Take a gander at this: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/facial-recognition-uk-police-wales-london-legal-challenge-human-rights-a8924296.html

    *

    "London's Metropolitan Police is facing a separate legal challenge over its own facial recognition trial, which has seen members of the public misidentified as criminals in 96 per cent of scans."

    *

    Facial recognition delivers false positives 96% of the time......SO HOW CAN IT BE PROPOSED AS A WAY OF DETERMINING AGE????

    *

    Well....we're dealing with politicians here, and Tory politicians to boot -- their motto is always: Don't confuse me with the facts!!!

  27. Imhotep

    Well, now we know.

    Finally answered: Who is going to watch the watchers?

    And it's creeping me out.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Well, now we know.

      "Who is going to watch the watchers?"

      More like "Who is going to wank the wankers?" these days?

  28. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    All of the proposed plans fail if the user chooses to lie.

    1. Imhotep

      I'm Pretty Sure That's How It Works

      The network protocols have error checking to address that sort of thing.

  29. violetfyxe

    NAZING TO HIDE, NAZING TO FEAR

    This was never about porn and always about profiling. Finding out about facial recognition is just the icing on the cake.

  30. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Our age verify idea has just collapsed into a pile of fail once it hit reality. What can I say?

    I know, something even more technically impossible to implement as well as even more privacy invading.

    And all because he bought an iPhone with Face ID.

  31. JoMe

    Sorry Mods...

    But what the f--k is wrong with these people...?

    1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      Re: Sorry Mods...

      Everything...

  32. SVV Silver badge

    "What has happened between the summer and now for this decision to have been made?"

    vicar's daughter replaced by careless shagmop.

    Surely a conservative MP should have noticed that. Also suspect realisation that "we're taking away your porn" is not a massive vote winner, even if all tories have to pretend that it is in public.

  33. Danny 2 Silver badge

    I would quite this tech for alcohol purchases at self-service checkouts. It would save me minutes each week.

  34. Time Waster

    Do these people not have advisors?

    I realise our government is entirely made up of technologically inept morons inventing ludicrous policies based on nothing but their misguided beliefs of what is achievable but how is it that there appears to be no halfway competent backroom staff steering them?

    Even a few minutes consideration of this idea would surely highlight massive technical hurdles (alongside the ludicrousness of suggesting people effectively upload selfies to porn sites of themselves getting down to business). How, for example, are they proposing to address the question of hardware trust? Ie, any facial recognition system based on cameras that can be controlled by the end user is surely destined for failure. Even where the camera itself can’t simply be spoofed (ie a virtual device playing non-stop footage of the fuckwit who came up with this policy), most systems require specialised hardware to avoid simple subversion by holding up a 2D image / video. Are they proposing porn can only be watched on a device equipped with such a camera already? Or will government issued ones be available on request?

    And I wasn’t even going to mention VPNs (or good old fashioned piracy).

  35. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Your inbox

    Hi, I infected your computer when you visited a site recently. I have been logging the sites that you visit (and we all know which sites they are, don't we, nudge, nudge, wink, wink) and I have also hacked your webcam. I have made a split screen video showing you from your webcam and the videos you have been watching. I also have you Facial ID data from when you logged in. But don't worry, I'm not going to blackmail you. I already used your Facial ID to buy a few bitcoins using your bank account.

    Thanks, and have a nice wank!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Show us ya mug!

    Unless you've something to hide

    etc, etc...

  37. DiViDeD Silver badge

    I Haz a Question

    Am I missing something here? Is the norrmal process, when looking for a little action with Mrs Palm and her lovely daughters, to first set up a webcam and a lighting rig?

    Will those of a less narcissistic bent, who don't have a webcam focused on their face 24/7 be excluded from this brave new world of government assisted wanking?

    1. Maximum Delfango

      Re: I Haz a Question

      Just do what I do - wear a gimp suit. Put it this way, it's not my face they need to recognise.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The school playground has always been the marketplace for things forbidden to children. There's always someone with the means to obtain such things - then pass them on to other kids for kudos or cash. There will again arise a lucrative market in selling 2 minute views yo their peers.

  39. Dave 15

    A simple solution?

    Why not get parents to actually look after their kids? After all I can pretty much guarantee that the little darlings will find what they want on an offshore site with no record

  40. CommanderGalaxian
    Facepalm

    UK Gov double down on Dumb and Dumber.

    ROFLMFAO.

    Can't possibly think of how that form of verification couldn't be fooled.

  41. the Jim bloke Silver badge
    Boffin

    Somebody taking their Nietszche as instructions

    making sure the abyss will gaze back at you.

  42. hammarbtyp Silver badge

    A better Brexit option

    Since a many Daily Fail/Excess/Right wing/Brexit loonies round my way seem to believe they have the ability to assess the age of a Syrian refugee from a grainy newspaper photo, maybe we should outsource the work to them.

    As long as they are strapped to a couple of wires capable of delivering a couple of 100 volts if they fail in there task when thrown some test subjects

  43. yorksranter

    So...the government literally just encouraged teenagers to upload photos of themselves to porn websites? how could this possibly go wrong?

  44. gnarlymarley Bronze badge

    is this a parenting issue?

    Now why do I foresee some kid using a portable USB webcam pointed at a picture to the side to fool the facial recognition? I don't see a way the idiot lawmakers can actually force this. Maybe a better option is to get better parents and have them learn how to do actual parenting. If you don't want your kids to see porno, then teach them.

  45. Toastan Buttar
    Trollface

    Shut Up and Dance (Black Mirror)

    That would never be hacked by miscreants, would it?

    "- I only looked at pictures and - "

    "And beat one off on camera? That's what they got, yeah? Your hot little face, blurred fist, dick burping f_cking spunk everywhere?

    "Your mum's gonna love that on Facebook, Twitter, Insta-f_cking-whatever.

    "And her friends.

    "All eyes on you, giving it that.

    "Toss in the c_nts at work, calling you Spurty McGoo.

    "Laughing at your come face, making it their desktop wallpaper"

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