For several years, the UK government has been slowly working towards implementing its age verification plans for pornographic content. Today, the measures were said to be going into effect…but nothing has happened. That doesn’t mean the plans have gone away though.

Indeed, to the contrary, an enforcement date is set to be announced by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) this week, SEXTECHGUIDE understands.

While the exact date that the age verification measures are due to come into effect still isn’t clear, obscenity lawyer Myles Jackman suggests that the UK’s uncertainty around Brexit and its position within Europe could have added to the delay up to now.

“This work is a world-leading step forward to protect our children from adult content which is currently far too easy to access online. We are taking the time to get the implementation of this policy right and to ensure it is effective, and we will announce a commencement date shortly,” a DCMS spokesperson told SEXTECHGUIDE.

UK Age Verification TL;DR

If you’ve missed the growing coverage of the new regulations, they essentially put in place age gates – not simple ‘age selection’ options – to stop underage viewers from accessing pornography. This in itself is no bad thing.

However, the measures bring with them a barrage of potential problems – ranging from the potential for private info to be revealed if held in ‘porn databases’, the negative effect they will have on smaller, independent porn producers and business, to the fact that they simply won’t work in the way their intended.

For users in the UK, it means you’ll need to prove your age to view pornography online (regardless of where the business or service is based). For users outside the UK, it won’t make any difference at all.

Exactly how it will all be implemented and where responsibility for data protection lies – given that multiple third-parties will be responsible for the verification – still needs to be clearly laid out by the BBFC.

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