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Louisiana’s new law requiring age verification on adult websites is driving uptake of digital ID

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Downloads of Louisiana’s state digital ID app have substantially increased because of a new Republican law requiring adult websites to verify the age of visitors with ID.

Since Dec. 31, the day before the law took effect, downloads of LA Wallet increased from a daily average of between 1,200 and 1,500 to over 5,000.

The increase in downloads and site visits coincided with the Jan. 1 implementation of the state law requiring adult websites to verify the age of visitors or be held responsible for distributing harmful content to children.

The law was sponsored by Republican state Rep. Laurie Schlegel, who said that she saw the harm caused by pornographic content while working as a couples therapist and decided that websites should start requiring users to show ID.

“Pornography is destroying our children and they’re getting unlimited access to it on the internet and so if the pornography companies aren’t going to be responsible, I thought we need to go ahead and hold them accountable,” she told a local news outlet last month.

However, the law has raised concerns among some residents who fear that their internet activity might be monitored or exposed in case of a cyberattack.

Louisiana’s Gov. John Bel Edward’s office said the internet activity of residents will not be monitored by the government itself.

“Louisiana residents accessing adult content will not be tracked or recorded by the Louisiana government,” a spokesperson for the governor’s office told StateScoop. The spokesperson added that the law also protects against data being collected by third parties.

Social media posts indicate that Pornhub, one of the largest adult content sites, has already introduced age verification.

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