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Friday, May 05, 2023

UK Age Verification

 In Internetmatters

Age verification in the UK explained

Parents’ guide: How will new law protect children online?

The Government has indicated that it will introduce new responsibilities on online platforms which host pornography to reduce underage access through website age verification laws. These new measures will form part of the Online Safety Bill, which is to be introduced into Parliament.

Other steps you can take to protect your child from adult content

What is age verification in law?

Age verification was approved as part of the Digital Economy Act in an effort to address under 18s accessing inappropriate content. However, these plans were dropped and instead picked up as a part of the draft Online Safety Bill in 2021.

The Government’s goal is for the UK to be the safest place to be online. As such, the draft Online Safety Bill includes new responsibilities for online service providers. These include the prevention of illegal material spreading and to protect users, particularly children, from legal but harmful content.

Referencing Internet Matters’ We Need to Talk About Pornography report, Minister Philp confirmed a new legal duty requiring commercial providers of pornography and the sites that allow user-generated pornographic content to have robust age checks in place to ensure their users are 18 years old or over. This is not limited to porn websites and includes any website that allows adult content.

What is the government’s plan?

The government outlined its goals to go beyond the Digital Economy Act in managing children’s access to age-inappropriate content such as online pornography. However, there were concerns that commercial pornography (as opposed to user generated pornography) was out of scope of the plans.

The draft was scrutinised by a Joint Committee and by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee.  Afterwards, Digital Minister Chris Philp announced that age verification measures in the Online Safety Bill would be extended.  .... ' 

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