Spain is trialling a "digital wallet" to limit children's access to pornography

Spain has taken an innovative approach to limiting children's access to pornography with the introduction of a digital age verification system dubbed the "pornographic passport".

Spain is trialling a "digital wallet" to limit children's access to pornography
FILE PHOTO © John Greim / LightRocket via Getty Images

The system is part of a wider app called "Digital Wallet Beta" (Cartera Digital Beta).

Of particular concern to the Spanish government is the number of minors exposed to pornography online. Citing figures from the Del Una Vuelta, officials say nearly half of all children between the ages of 11 and 13 have seen such things.

How the system works
The digital wallet beta acts as an age verification tool for users seeking access to adult websites in Spain. Here is the breakdown of the event:
Users will need to verify their age through the app with their electronic ID, digital identity card, or existing "Cl@ve" system.
Once accepted, users receive a short-term credit (supposedly 30 credits) to access adult content for a set period of time (probably a month).
The policy aims to protect users’ privacy by not collecting view history or personal information on adult websites.
The voluntary approach is the future

It is important to note that the Digital Wallet Beta is currently voluntary. Porn sites can still use other age verification methods if they choose. But the Spanish government hopes widespread adoption will become the norm.

The project is also in line with future EU legislation that comes into force in October 2027. It will require websites to implement stronger measures to prevent minors from accessing adult content Spain's digital wallet beta could serve as a model for upcoming EU-wide policy , although eventually the EU instead Is expected to install a digital identification system (eIDAS2).

The effectiveness of the "porn passport" and its impact on user privacy remain to be seen. Spain's approach has sparked debate, but it undeniably represents a unique attempt to address concerns surrounding minors' exposure to online pornography.