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Canada's privacy watchdog investigating Pornhub over alleged non-consensual content

Montreal based Pornhub pornographic site has come under scrutiny for having videos of sexual assault and under age performers. Pictured in Montreal, Que., Thursday, December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Mario Beauregard

OTTAWA — A federal watchdog says he is investigating Pornhub over potential privacy breaches related to non-consensual content posted online.

At a parliamentary committee today, privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien says his office is looking into the pornography site and Montreal-based parent company MindGeek, following testimony from women who say Pornhub brushed off their pleas to have videos taken down.

More than 100 victims of exploitive content and scores of lawmakers have also called for a full criminal investigation into MindGeek, alleging it regularly shared child pornography and sexual-assault videos as well as content shot or posted without the consent of subjects.

MindGeek has denied all accusations of wrongdoing, saying it is a global leader in preventing distribution of exploitive videos and images and has zero tolerance for non-consensual content or child sexual-abuse material.

Therrien says consent is required to disclose personal information under federal law, and that even if it is given, companies cannot use that information “if a reasonable person would find that inappropriate.”

The commissioner is declining to reveal more about the ongoing probe into the porn giant.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 10, 2021.

The Canadian Press