Mon, 26 Sep 2022

LONDON, England: As part of a new internet safety bill, the UK government has announced all pornography websites will be legally required to verify that users are age 18 or older.

Under the bill, porn sites must establish "robust checks" to protect children from accessing them, and could use secure age verification technology to confirm a user has a credit card, or use a third-party service to confirm their age against government data.

If sites fail to comply, they can be fined up to 10 percent of their annual global turnover, could also be blocked in the UK, and their officials could be held criminally liable, the government stated.

"It is too easy for children to access pornography online. Parents deserve peace of mind that their children are protected online from seeing things no child should see," said Digital Minister Chris Philp.

The current online safety bill only covers commercial porn sites that allow user-generated content. The proposed update will regulate all commercial porn sites.

While the communications regulator could recommend the use of age verification technologies, the companies are responsible for deciding how best to comply with the new rules, officials said.

Research indicates half of 11 to 13 year olds in the UK have seen pornography, including many younger children.

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