UK’s age verification porn plans delayed until end of 2018 136

UK’s age verification porn plans delayed until end of 2018 137

Pornhub ban

The UK government has been forced to admit that its controversial plans to enforce a mandated age-gate system on any website that shows pornographic content to users in the UK has been delayed.

The admission didn’t, however, come as an up-front announcement – instead, the government tried to bury it in news about mobile data speeds and broadband, which suggests that things aren’t progressing as well as it hoped they would.

In short, the regulations will force any site that hosts pornographic material to verify the age of visitors via one of its approved schemes, such as AgeID, developed by Pornhub-owner MindGeek. However, vagaries about how the rules will be applied, concerns about data security and privacy (a ‘porn database of the UK’ is a pretty tempting target for hackers) and a general lack of communication ahead of its enforcement date next month have led to the setback.

“Our priority is to make the internet safer for children and we believe this is best achieved by taking time to get the implementation of the policy right. We will therefore allow time for the BBFC as regulator to undertake a public consultation on its draft guidance which will be launched later this month. For the public and the industry to prepare for and comply with age verification, the Government will also ensure a period of up to three months after the BBFC guidance has been cleared by Parliament before the law comes into force. It is anticipated age verification will be enforceable by the end of the year,” the DCMS said.

So, unless it’s further delayed, or regulators finally realize that it won’t stop kids watching porn, it looks like it’s a reprieve until towards the end of the year, rather than a victory for common sense.

Myles Jackman, the Open Rights Group’s legal director told SEXTECHGUIDE: “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. Matt Hancock needs to introduce powers to safeguard privacy immediately before this scheme causes real damage.”

Quite.

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