The UK government has confirmed that a compulsory age verification check for adult websites will no longer be introduced in April as originally planned. In a statement, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said it would now start “later in the year”.
“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,” said the Open Rights Group’s legal director, Myles Jackman. “[The government] needs to introduce powers to safeguard privacy immediately before this scheme causes real damage.”
The new rule means online pornography viewers will have to prove that they are over the age of 18 to watch explicit material on porn sites. Although the BBFC has yet to explain how the verification process will work, it’s widely believed it will require a user to provide a credit card of passport details to prove they are over 18.