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The UK-based digital watchdog organisation Open Rights Group is expressing concern that an age verification tool for pornography sites could potentially expose users' sensitive data, according to a report from the BBC.

Adult website operator MindGeek is reportedly planning to distribute the tool, AgeID, to comply with the UK government's new Digital Economy Act, which contains language requiring porn site visitors to confirm that they are 18 or older, as of April 2018. Already used in Germany since 2015, the tool will require some form of approved ID, which depending on UK law could include credit cards, mobile SMS messaging, passports, or driver's licenses. Individuals who register with this service would only need to log in once to visit multiple sites, even when using different devices.

MindGeek reportedly said that it would not store any entered data, but Myles Jackman, legal director of the Open Rights Group, told the BBC that it was unclear just who exactly would be responsible for the data. "If the age verification process continues in its current fashion, it's a once-in-a-lifetime treasure trove of private information," said Jackson. "If it gets hacked, can British citizens ever trust the government again with their data?"

Jackman also reportedly expressed concern that by signing in, users would reveal their sexual preferences, and that the privacy implications could ultimately sway more individuals to turn to the dark web.

MindGeek, which owns the video sharing services PornHub, RedTube YouPorn, as well as Brazzers and other adult content producers, reportedly intends to make the tool commercially available to any porn site that's accessible from the UK, and distribute it for free to independent UK studios, producers and bloggers.