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Pornhub tries to hide its privacy crisis by silently running for cover

·4 mins
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Announcement – Things are getting bigger!

Old useless cookie banner
  1. Old banner
New cookie banner - ACCEPT OR ACCEPT?
  1. Previous attempt, a tiny cookie banner
New bigger banner
  1. New bigger cookie banner

One month ago #StopDataPorn has unveiled the severity of users’ data malpractice happening on Pornhub and the tech giant is now running for cover in secret. Last week we had to shame them again for the useless cookie banner they implemented trying to clean up their privacy mess. Now, only one week after this change on the platform in response to our accusations, Mindgeek is making one more attempt to sweep this crisis under the rug and brainwash everyone.

Here is what is going on:

  • Pornhub changed its cookie banner again and in complete silence, therefore admitting that the platform was trying to fool the users with a useless banner at first. We had to call out this fake “solution” and it is starting to look like they are actually in bad faith. Also, the banner has not been implemented on a global scale, in fact you cannot see it connecting from Switzerland or the US. If they truly believed in privacy and data autonomy (as they claim in the banner), then they shouldn’t make geographical discrimination.

  • Pornhub is still absolutely not compliant with GDPR because in its privacy policy the legal basis for content personalization and profiling is still “legitimate interest” and not “consent”. And the consent must be reinforced pursuant to art.9 GDPR because they are processing sensitive data related to sexual preferences of users! Also, the date indicated on the last version of the privacy Policy (13th of July) is false, considering how internet archiving tools show that the site was displaying its previous policy (dated 14th of April 2022) as recently as last 21st of July 2023.

  • Mindgeek refuses to make public comments on their data protection crisis and yet they are clearly aware of all the malpractice that we are shaming them for. Are they exploiting our campaign for free consultancy on GDPR? What else are they hiding behind their silence? Why are they not communicating on their privacy crisis? At this point we demand access to the data Mindgeek has, in a procedure similar to what art. 40 of the Digital Services Act prescribes, so that we will be able to monitor their compliance.

  • Some non-technical cookies are still deployed before consent is given and even if it is denied. This is the case of cookies from hubt.pornhub.com which is a subdomain of pornhub.com connected to a service offered by Mindgeek that was supposedly discontinued in 2019. Why are they still using these shady cookies? What happens to users’ data once it has been hoarded in the servers of Mindgeek? Why are they so dismissive about GDPR compliance?

    The **non-tecnical cookie from hubt.pornhub.com** is still there
    Report from CookieMetrix.com
  • Pornhub is exploiting feminist slogans for marketing gain, stating in this new cookie banner “Your cookies, your choice” with a clear cultural appropriation from the struggles for reproductive rights and freedom of choice (the famous sentence “my body, my choice”). They only offer accepting options on their platform which is not even a choice. A most appropriate sentence would have been “Your cookies, our profit”.

With this cookie banner enlargement we see how Mindgeek was only pretending to start respecting users' consent on Pornhub. We had to shame them once again and call out their tricks to force them into what is already imposed by law. We have seen this happening also during the previous email exchange of our many Data Subject Access Requests. They are always trying to do less than the bare minumum, giving priority to their profits.

If it is true that the new owner of Mindgeek, Ethical Capital Partners, wants to share its moderation tools with the world and be really transparent we urge them to break the silence and open the gate for public scrutiny over their business practice.

 

#StopDataPorn is a collective initiative calling on users and authorities to take immediate action and address the exploitative practices of porn platforms. This users’ data violation is not the sole abuse done by Pornhub, who is already involved in scandals about monetizing from sexual assault videos and letting children access its adult material.

 

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📬 please@stopdataporn.org 📬 #