The Government's Decided Age-Verification Has to be Added to Porn From 15th July

By Tom Pritchard on at

In recent months you may have heard about long-promised 'porn block' would be coming into effect on 1st April - adding robust age verification checks onto adult sites in an attempt to stop them being accessed by under 18s. Obviously that date has been and gone without any sign of the blocks, mainly because the government never officially announced that would be the date it happens. But now they have, and it means age verification is to go into effect from 15th July.

Obviously this has been in the works for a very long time. Longer than the government would probably like because it turned out nobody knew how they would actually get such a system to work properly. But it seems those days of self awareness are behind them. That means from 15th July people will have to get through some sort of age verification system, and the newly appointed regulators at the BBFC have confirmed there will be multiple age verification solutions available. The idea is that people can choose the system that's right for them.

The law has demanded that the checks are more than just entering a date of birth or ticking a 'I'm totally 18, promise' box. The systems will range from using official documents (like credit cards or *shudder* passports), digital IDs, phone contracts where existing adult blocks have been removes, and those 'porn passes' that you have to buy in person at a physical shop. Yeah so there's still a lot to take in, and obviously you can always flipĀ on a VPN and pretend you're in France or something.

The BBFC also has something called the 'age verification certificate' (AVC) which is designed to ensure providers of the verification systems "maintain high standards of privacy and data security". But that's a voluntary thing, though opting in means verification systems will need to be audited by the BBFC's partner NCC group. Of course everything is supposed to be secure under GDPR, but as we've seen since that came into effect some companies are still not very good at keeping data secure. In other words keep an eye out for the green 'AV' symbol to ensure the company is paying attention to data protection. Or buy a porn pass down the corner shop. Or use a VPN.

If you're interested you can read the BBFC's guidance right here.