Mandatory age verification to view online pornography

Posted on 18 July 2017

Yesterday the Digital Minister Matt Hancock signed the commencement order for the Digital Economy Act 2017 which achieved Royal Assent in April.

The Act addresses a range of measures to protect consumers in the digital age, including the introduction of a new age verification process for accessing online pornography.

Expected to be in place by April 2018, this legislation will place requirements on commercial pornography providers to establish robust age verification controls to make it harder for under-18s to access this content.

Minister of State for Digital, Matt Hancock said:

“The Digital Economy Act is about building a strong, safe and connected economy. It will secure better support for consumers, better protection for children on the Internet, and underpin a radical transformation of government services.”
Will Gardner, Chief Executive of Childnet and a Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre said:

“Protecting children from exposure, including accidental exposure, to adult content is incredibly important, given the effect it can have on young people.
“Steps like this to help restrict access, alongside the provision of free parental controls and education, are key. 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.”

Childnet have been quoted in a number of news stories in relation to this announcement, including:

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