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UK government has delayed mandatory age verification on porn sites

UK government has delayed mandatory age verification on porn sites

Every since last year when the Digital Economy Act became law, we're been under the assumption that there would be a time when porn sits would be compelled to start verifying the age of British visitors to ensure only adults are watching the contents. After that, the UK's digital minister set a deadline of April 2018 where porn site were required to comply with the law or face the consequences. We assumed that everything was on track, but the UK government has revealed that they're nowhere ready to police porn sites, and as such, expect the age verification to not be enforceable until the end of the year.

Over the weekend, UK's Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport announced the recipients of a £25 million (around $35 million) for 5G projects. The funding will help support trials of 5G-equipped drones geared towards “smart farming,” internet of things in healthcare application and autonomous vehicle technology, among other research. At the same time, UK government released an admission that they currently don't hav enough clear guidelines in place for porn sites to follow, and as such, the mandatory age verification is delayed until porn sites know what's expected of them.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), the body that decides the age ratings for movies, games and music videos, took on the responsibility for porn regulation. The BBFC has the authority to fine sites that don't introduce age checks up to £250,000 (around $346,000) or up to 5 percent of their turnover. I addition, the BBFC can order ISPs to block sites and tells service provides, such as payment processors or ad-management companies, to not work with sites that aren't complying with the rules. Social media companies are also being held responsible to mute those that are non-compliant.

So, why is there a delay? Well, it's because the BBFC is writing the guidelines for porn sites and their service provides. These guidelines are expected to be published towards the end of the month in form of a draft. From there, the industry and anyone else will be able to provide their opinion. When the time comes that both sides are happy with the set guidelines, the government has to voice its approval before giving porn sites three months to get ready to implement the age verification tools. All of this is expected to complete before the end of the year, but the process could be pushed further if appropriate progress isn't made.

The owner of Pornhub and many other adult sites, Mindgeek, recently gave details to a system it intends to use for age verification. AgeID is an encrypted login that could work across any website. This means that someone will only need to verify their age once to get into a website and use the same tool to go to many others. The system will reportedly not sure any personal information, only the data it needs to tell a site that the visitor is over 18 years of age.

CategoriesInternet
Hamza Khalid

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