A real earthquake is coming for hard sites: stricter controls are coming, they will soon have to say goodbye to incognito browsing.

For a mocking nemesis, the very reason for the success of these platforms also risks turning out to be a boomerang that could have a heavy impact on their online traffic, here’s why.

Incognito browsing will soon stop on red light sites – Sjbeez

Red light sites, as we know, are among the most consulted on the web. A success which, however, also has an unwelcome (for them) downside. In fact, sites that exceed 45 million users in the European Union end up on the list of "Very Large Online Platforms" (VLOPs). This means, among other things, that they will be subject to the obligations set out in the new Digital Services Act. This is exactly what has happened in the last few hours to three famous adult sites, which will now have less than two months to comply .

Red light sites, earthquake in sight for incognito browsing

The European Union has targeted three famous pornographic sites which by February 17 will have to comply with European regulations on the ways in which users access the sites.

Bad news for sites prohibited to minors in terms of European legislation – Sjbeez

Having ended up on the list of Very Large Online Platforms will not only have formal or merely bureaucratic consequences for the three adult platforms. According to the DSA regulation, in fact, VLOPs are forced to comply with various obligations, some of which are very stringent in the field of protection of minors. In addition to the general obligations, there are more specific obligations such as the one that requires minors to be prevented from accessing online porn content, including by using age verification systems.

But that’s not all: the Digital Services Act also forces sites to prevent access to users who browse incognito. In fact, this navigation method prevents the user and her age from being identified, even anonymously. And as I know, many users of adult sites use incognito mode to avoid leaving too many traces on the browser (such as “compromising” autocompletes in the Chrome address bar or “embarrassing” histories).

Just like social media, red light sites already ask their users if they are of age, obscuring the contents if they declare that they are not of age. But since everyone can indicate what they want, banners like these on the home page are not considered effective methods to verify the user’s real age. Everything would change with the obligation to identify “in the clear”, which could lead to a rapid collapse in traffic on the sites in question.