UK To Step Up Age Verification Regime For Pornography Websites In 2018

Verifying that you are over the age of 18 using a credit card, the electoral roll or a mobile phone contract provider have all been suggested as possible methods.Visitors to porn sites may be required to give credit cards details – even if the site provides content free of charge – in order to verify their age, according to the BBC.The UK has made a decision to increase age verification efforts in the country for pornography websites and is expected to implement the process through legal methods on Monday. “Despite repeated warnings, parliament has failed to listen to concerns about the privacy and security of people who want to watch legal adult content”.By April 2018, websites that make pornographic content available to United Kingdom users for commercial purposes-even if they are not based in the United Kingdom -will be legally required to install age verification controls, the BBC reported.It is thought the regulator could be the British Board of Film Classification.The new government powers will apply to both free and paid-for adult websites, as well as websites that are hosted overseas. Those that fail could be fined up to £250,000, or be banned, the government says.Digital minister Matt Hancock will formally begin the process, which was the subject of a 2016 consultation during David Cameron’s government, in a written statement to the Commons later.Despite the fact that new powers will be hard to implement effectively-given that so many sites are overseas which can be accessed by porn fans using, say, VPN workarounds-Hancock is convinced that “the United Kingdom will have the most robust Internet child protection measures of any country in the world”.Will Gardner, CEO of Internet safety charity Childnet, concurs. Steps like this to help restrict access, alongside the provision of free parental controls and education, are key.Literally, it means that people in the United Kingdom will have to prove they are 18 before being allowed to access pornography websites from next year.In the offline world children are shielded from harm through age rating mechanisms for films and magazines and a host of other tools – age-verification for access to pornographic content is a very welcome step towards bringing protection of children online into step with the offline world.Researchers found children were more likely to stumble upon explicit sites that access them directly.