UK's porn age verification plans have been pushed back

The UK government has announced that the planned age verification system that was due to come into force on porn sites in April has now been pushed back to sometime later in the year. The delay is being implemented because the government wants to ensure that it gets the implementation right. Critics of the move have welcomed the delay, saying that the time should be used to implement privacy and security safeguards.

In a statement, Myles Jackman, Open Rights Group’s legal director said:

“This is a chance for the government to rethink the absence of safeguards for privacy and security, but it is frightening to consider that this policy was two weeks away from launch before it was pulled.

Matt Hancock [MP] needs to introduce powers to safeguard privacy immediately before this scheme causes real damage.”

James Clark from AgeID, an age verification platform, said the regulations still need to go out for consultation and have to be discussed and approved by Parliament. He said there is simply not enough time to carry out these things before the original implementation date. Software developers from W2Global, who are building a tool called AVYourself, said that they hadn’t received a specification for the implementation from BBFC who are in charge of the project, and claimed that they’re working “a little bit in the dark”.

BBFC confirmed to BBC News that it was planning to share details about the verification process next month.

Many people will likely be pleased with the delay because they won't have to share sensitive documents to prove their age just yet. W2Global estimates that the new system will affect 20 to 34 million people in the UK which boasts a total population of 65 million people.

Source: Open Rights Group via BBC News

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