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Age verification and privacy: avoiding an Ashley Madison scenario

There's been a lot of talk recently about the plans to introduce a government-backed age verification system for adult content in the UK. Concerns - quite reasonable concerns - are flying around that the creation of such a system would, by definition, result in a list of 'deviants' which might be abused by an increasingly totalitarian government. I agree with these concerns. I think the age verification system is ineffective and unnecessary. Firstly, unless we end…