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UK government unveils age verification plan for adult sites

Joanna Shields

Joanna Shields

The UK government has unveiled plans to introduce “some form of age verification” on all pornographic websites.

A public consultation has been launched on the plans, which are designed to prevent children from accessing “potentially damaging material.”

The government said its preferred approach is to make companies that create and profit from online pornography take responsibility for implementing age verification technology.

It also unveiled plans to establish a new regulatory framework to monitor and enforce compliance, with the ability to impose civil sanctions where breaches are identified.

“Keeping children safe online is one of government’s greatest priorities,” said internet safety and security minister, Baroness Joanna Shields. “Just as we do offline, we want to make sure children are prevented from accessing pornographic content online which should only be viewed by adults.

“We are delivering on our manifesto promise by launching this consultation today, which proposes we require companies providing this pornographic content to ensure they have safeguards in place to ensure those accessing their websites are over 18.”

The consultation will run until April 12  and follows discussions with a range of stakeholders, including internet providers, social media and search companies, charities and academics.