Published: Tue, July 18, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

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

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

According to the Mail On Sunday, porn sites will have to use the same method as gambling websites to verify users are over 18. An NSPCC spokesperson told Alphr: "Watching online pornography can have a deeply damaging effect on children and teenagers development, both in how they think and behave".

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.

Websites will be legally required to install age verification controls by April 2018 as part of a move to make the internet safer for children. The British Board of Film and Classification, which sets age limits for films, DVDs and computer games, is set to have its remit expanded to include enforcing age-verification on x-rated sites. Any site that fails to comply with the new highly-secured age verification system may face being banned.

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"All this means that while we can enjoy the freedom of the web, the United Kingdom will have the most robust internet child protection measures of any country in the world", he said.

The minister of state for digital, Matt Hancock, is expected to start the official process on Monday via a written statement to the House of Commons.

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. The report also stated that 65% of 15-16 years old and 48% of 11-16 years olds had seen pornography.

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"It is essential to help parents and carers, as well as young people, be more aware of this risk and what they can do to prevent exposure and also to make sense of exposure if it happens".

The study also found that 28% of children may have just stumbled across pornography while 19% had searched for it deliberately. Critics say the legislation is draconian and breaches the right to privacy.

"The Government has repeatedly refused to ensure that there is a legal duty for age verification providers to protect the privacy of web users", executive director Jim Killock said. The idea is to restrict anyone who is not over the legal age from viewing adult content online. "Sex education would genuinely protect young people, as it would give them information and context".

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