social network

How does Pornhub age verification work through “VKontakte”

Especially for Pornhub in the work of the social network made changes.

Developers “VKontakte” specially for Pornhub added to their API (interface with third-party programs) a separate field for authorization, with which the pornographic site can check whether the user has reached the age of majority or not.  was informed by Pornhub vice-president Corey Price, the information was confirmed by VKontakte spokesman Yevhen Krasnikov.

has studied what data Pornhub can get and how the new validation method works.

“VKontakte” added a separate field for checking the age for Pornhub

Price explained that the decision to introduce mandatory authorization for users from Russia with the help of VKontakte on Pornhub was dictated by Russian laws on information. However, it was not put forward as a condition for continuing work on the part of Roskomnadzor.

When login through “VKontakte” there is no transfer of personal data, which would then be stored in Pornhub, says Price: “It’s just a test – over 18 years old user or not.” If the user passes this test, they are allowed to go to the site.

The VKontakte API did not previously have a separate field, with which it was possible to check the user for reaching adulthood. Price and Krasnikov confirmed that an additional field was added specially for Pornhub in response to user authorization with a “yes / no” answer.

Although VK helped us a lot and changed our API to return us the answer, is there a user of 18 years old, this is just a continuation of work on compliance with Russian laws on access to information. This [solution] will allow Pornhub to continue working in Russia and remain the best source of adult materials.

Cory Price, vice president of Pornhub

Krasnikov said he did not know about other sites or services that would use the VKontakte authorization to check age. At the same time, the VKontakte API documentation does not mention a new field anywhere, since it was added specifically for Pornhub.

What data does Pornhub receive?

At login through “VKontakte” Pornhub requests general information about the profile. It includes everything that can not be covered by privacy settings: name and surname, city of residence, place of work and links to other social networks, if they are indicated.

The phone number, e-mail address and other data are not included in this list. Age in “VKontakte” can be completely hidden, however in this case you will not be able to go to Pornhub.

The parameter scope = 0 means that the application does not request additional rights

According to Krasnikov, Pornhub uses the usual scheme of OAuth-authorization . On the request that Pornhub makes to “VKontakte”, it can be seen that he does not request any additional rights (for example, information about friends or sending push notifications), except basic profile information.

At the same time, access rights “to general profile information” are always requested by default.
The only difference is that together with access_token they get also the is_adult field.

Yevgeny Krasnikov, Press Secretary of VKontakte

Krasnikov believes that although Pornhub receives a user’s token, no more requests are made to “VKontakte” by the pornographic site. In theory, the site can continue to make these requests, but in this case, the maximum that it receives is the same basic information: name, city, place of work. Permission to this can be turned off in the settings of connected sites and applications in “VKontakte” .

All these methods work only in one-way mode: Pornhub can learn something about the user “VKontakte”, but “VKontakte” does not receive information about the user Pornhub and his actions on the site.

Communication age in “VKontakte”, phone number and passport

In one of the latest versions of the API “VKontakte” made it mandatory to specify the date of birth when registering. At the same time, there is no verification of this information, especially in the social network rules, theresponsibility for indicating reliable data – including a real name – is shifted to the user.

However, when registering in “VKontakte” from the user require to specify the phone number, verification of possession which passes through the SMS-code: it is claimed that this is done for security purposes. At the same time, it is legal to buy a SIM-card in Russia only upon presenting a passport.

In fact, VKontakte does not know whether the user’s data is real or not, but they can be checked by law enforcement agencies: they can compare the information about the SIM card owner (passport data) with that indicated on the page. Theoretically the profile in “VKontakte” can be linked to the cookies created when you visit Pornhub, but the pornographic site is not in the register of information dissemination organizers and is not obliged to give information about users to Russian law enforcement agencies.

To eliminate fears due to authorization via VKontakte, you can use VPN (when you enter from another country, there will not be an authorization dialog) or a social network page tied to a SIM card with fake login information. However , with the VPN , and with such SIM-cards Russian authorities are going to fight more actively.

Mostly illegally (without a passport) SIM-cards are sold in Russia through intermediaries, and not from the operators themselves. According to Roskomnadzor, in 2016 alone more than 28,000 such SIM cards were seized. In the fall, the State Duma is going to introduce a law that prohibits operators from giving SIM cards to intermediaries to connect new subscribers. Its initiator is Senator Valentina Matvienko.

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