Who will enforce the law on commercial pornography websites?
The Office of Communications (Ofcom) which already regulates the TV, radio and video on demand will also be the regulator of the new online safety regime created by the Online Safety Bill.
Online pornography sites that do not comply with the law by not having age verification or showing extreme pornography may be blocked by Internet Service Providers and mobile network providers.
They may also be removed from search engines, payment-services and social media sites to stop access to their sites.
How will sites with pornographic content verify users’ ages?
There are no plans for the government to state specifically what sites will need to do to prevent underage access. It may be that sites require users to register their credit card, or users might need to use a third-party service to prove their age.
What does this mean for data protection?
Regulated services will be expected to meet the UK’s data protection standards enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office.
When will age verification requirements come into force?
It is expected that DCMS will introduce the Bill into Parliament around Spring 2022, but it will likely be many months or years before pornography providers will be required to introduce age verification.
What does age verification mean for your child?
The same way that protections are in place to restrict children from entering sex shops on the high street, this will create a safety net for children’s protection online. Although age verification will not be a silver bullet, these measures should mean that younger children will be less likely to stumble across or access pornographic content online.