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The Australian government wants to face scan people watching porn

The dystopian-sounding proposal will match and share photos of Australian citizens using passport and licence photos

Another day, another step closer to life becoming an episode of Black Mirror. A new proposal suggested by the Australian Department of Home Affairs might require all people visiting porn sites to verify their age by scanning their faces using a dystopian-sounding Face Verification Service, which biometrically matches and shares photos of Australian citizens using passport and licence photos.

Announced yesterday (October 29), the Face Verification Service is an image database of Australian citizens that is managed by the government. “Home Affairs is developing a Face Verification Service which matches a person’s photo against images used on one of their evidence of identity documents to help verify their identity,” the government wrote in a submission. “This could assist in age verification, for example by preventing a minor from using their parent’s driver licence to circumvent age verification controls.”

Thankfully, the service has yet to pass the Identity-matching Services Bill 2019, which was recently rejected by parliament’s intelligence and security committee over risks of privacy safeguarding (no kidding). Basically, we might still have a little while until we’re in a full-blown nanny state.

News of the biometric Face Verification Service comes after the UK finally dropped its controversial porn block, which would have required ID from all people visiting porn sites to prove that they’re over 18. If this isn’t a big, gaping red flag, I don’t know what is.