UK Porn Sites Prepare to Lower Compulsory Age Verification Barrier

By Gary Cutlack on at

The legitimate arms of the companies that provide internet porn from within the UK are getting ready for the government's introduction of a compulsory age verification system, laying out the ground rules for how UK-based sites can comply with demands to check the age of the viewer before filling the screen with low-bitrate pink things.

The rather unfortunately named DP Alliance is leading development of the system, with Adult Provider Network spokesman Chris Ratcliff explaining the overall aims in a DPA document [PDF]. He said: "We need AV [adult verification] processes which ensure a frictionless, privacy-preserving user experience. Those processes must at the same time be cost‐effective, fit for purpose and easy to integrate, particularly for small business operators.

"Furthermore, there needs to be parity in UK legislative and regulatory frameworks to ensure that merchants from the EU and beyond are regulated on the same terms as UK companies. With 99.9% of all online adult video content emanating from outside the UK and falling beyond the reach of UK regulation, as it stands minors remain unprotected and UK providers are unable to compete effectively in the global online space."

Which sounds like an awful lot of work is being done to limit access to a fraction of the porn content viewable in the UK. Bank and credit card data are methods that may be used to check identity and age -- served through some sort of anonymising hub -- which ought to ensure people panic-close the browser and format the hard drive whenever such a window appears. [Wired]