UK To Introduce Age-Verification For Porn Sites

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The UK will introduce age verification for pornography sites. The government announced Wednesday that the measures will come into force on July 15, 2019.

Age-Verification by Law

From that date, commercial providers of online pornography will be required by law to check that users are 18-years-old or older. Sites that fail to check the age of users will risk sanction. Those sanctions could include withdrawal of payment services or a site being blocked in the UK.

Some had raised privacy concerns at the proposals. However, the government said that verification should deal with checking a users age only, not their identity.

The Minister for Digital, Margot James, said:

Adult content is currently far too easy for children to access online. The introduction of mandatory age-verification is a world-first, and we’ve taken the time to balance privacy concerns with the need to protect children from inappropriate content. We want the UK to be the safest place in the world to be online, and these new laws will help us achieve this.

Independent Body Overseeing Compliance

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) will oversee compliance with the new law. The body has created an Age-verification Certificate to assess age the data security standards of those providing age verification services.

The BBFC’s Chief Executive, David Austin, welcomed the new laws “as  a groundbreaking child protection measure.”

“Age-verification will help prevent children from accessing pornographic content online and means the UK is leading the way in internet safety,” he added.

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