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online-porn-age-checks-delayed-in-the-uk

Online porn age checks delayed in the U.K.

Sheetal Sukhija - Tuesday 13th March, 2018

LONDON, U.K. - The controversial compulsory age verification check for online porn visitors that was proposed by the U.K. government and was set to be introduced in April, has now been delayed.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced in a statement that the compulsory verification check will now start “later in the year.”

According to the department spokesperson, "We need to take the time to make sure we get it right.”

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), which is the regulator has so far not released any information on exactly how the process will work.

According to the Open Rights Group's legal director, Myles Jackman, "This is a chance for the government to rethink the absence of safeguards for privacy and security, but it is frightening to consider that this policy was two weeks away from launch before it was pulled. [The government] needs to introduce powers to safeguard privacy immediately before this scheme causes real damage."

The delay in introduction of the process did not come as a shock to the industry in general as several companies that were developing age verification tools for the new regulation had previously warned that the deadline would likely not be met.

As per the new rule announced by the government, online pornography viewers will have to prove that they are over the age of 18 to watch explicit material on porn sites.

The rule is part of the Digital Economy Act and is designed to prevent children "stumbling" upon explicit content.

The April 2018 deadline for the introduction of an age verification scheme was set in July last year by the Digital Minister Matt Hancock.

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