THESIS: The Australian government would be violating the privacy of its residents who go on adult sites to view pornography, by asking for identification which they would then run through a facial identification database.
BACKGROUND AND EVIDENCE:
The Australian government has proposed using a facial recognition system it is developing to verify that people who seek to watch pornography online are of legal age. Current law in Australia does not prohibit minors from viewing pornography. But the federal government is considering proposals that would require people to prove their age before watching the material. Under the proposal from the Department of Home Affairs, a computer user’s face would be matched to images from official identity documents. It does not say how the user would submit a facial image at the beginning of each online session.At this point, the Australian proposal is merely notional. Parliament has yet to approve a central identity database that the Department of Home Affairs wants to use in a national face-matching system. The system could be used to identify criminal suspects whose images are captured on surveillance cameras. The facial verification system will become operational if the bill is passed. The Department of Home Affairs has said that it intends the system to be available not only to government agencies, but also to the private sector. Organizations in the private sector, though, would be able to use the technology only with a person’s consent.
SOURCES I HAVE FOUND:
Australia Proposes Face Scans for Watching Online Pornography: NYT article (used for background and evidence)
The suggested uses for facial recognition technology keep getting weirder and more troubling, as the Australian government has proposed using the tech to verify the age of pornography users throughout the country.Facial recognition has seen its fair share of backlash across the tech industry and beyond. From controversial implementation in schools to condemnation from police body cam manufacturers, the technology is up to its ears in bad press. The prospect of using it for age verification certainly isn’t going to quell any concerns.
The proposal would require biometrics systems to verify age before allowing visits to adult sites.The Australian government has proposed using facial recognition to verify the age of people wanting to access pornography online.Unlike in the U.S., Australian law actually doesn’t prohibit minors from visiting adult sites, so the facial-recognition measure would be part of changing this policy. Much like the UK’s “porn pass” system, which was quickly shelved amidst mounting pressure from privacy groups, strong age verification would be required of the user requesting access to view pornography – in this case, via a facial scan.
Melbourne: The Australian government is planning to propose the use of facial recognition for watching online pornography. The government is mulling such a move to verify that those who watch such stuff have attained legal age.The current laws and regulation in Australia is not enough to prevent minors from watching pornography. Hence the government is considering proposals that would require people to prove their age before watching the material.
In September, an Australian government committee asked for ideas on how to make it harder for minors to access online porn. Home Affairs — essentially the Aussie version of the United States’ Department of Homeland Security — is currently developing a Face Verification Service that would confirm a person’s identify by matching their face to a photo in a government identification document, such as a driver’s license.
A plan to scan porn viewers’ faces that has already been abandoned by the UK will be introduced in Australia if Home Affairs gets its way. The Department of Home Affairs has also raised using the technology to restrict access to gambling sites. The department has recommended checking ages by matching a person’s photo with a document already lodged with Home Affairs, such as a driver’s licence. However, a bipartisan committee recently shot down the proposal over fears it could lead to mass surveillance, telling the Government to redraft its plans. Sex industry lobby group Eros Association suggested stronger parental controls be made available by internet service providers, pointing to Telstra allowing a filter of websites.
SOURCES I HAVEN’T FOUND YET: I would like to find more information on the reaction of the residents of Australia to get better insight on what they are feeling exactly. I would also like to find more detailed descriptions of the outcomes of the legislation being passed.
COUNTERARGUMENTS I NEED TO REFUTE:
Some could argue that the regulation and identification of adult site viewers would in fact lead to less minors viewing pornography.
The surveillance of the sites and its viewer would prove to be helpful safety precaution, critics could say.
Australia would be taking the right step in helping to stop minors from inappropriate conduct they could view on the site.