The UK Government acknowledged its responsibility to protect young people in its manifesto commitment to require age verification for access to all websites containing pornographic material. The launch of the DCMS Consultation – Child Safety Online: Age Verification for Pornography has its focus on commercial pornography providers, and is looking to these businesses to ensure that children are not exposed to harmful content online or content that is not suitable for their age group.
The Digital Policy Alliance (DPA) Age Verification Group, formed in September 2014, shares the Government's objectives, and is actively working to implement effective AV online. It includes participation from the Adult Content, Payment, Gambling, Tobacco, Alcohol, E-Cigarette, Dating and Telecommunications (including Internet Registration and Identity Provision) industries, with the active engagement of observers from DCMS, Ofcom and Academia.
This Briefing for Parliamentarians covers the issues at stake for the adult industry, and represents a collective view from our industry members on how to ensure that legislative intention is implemented effectively in practice to protect children and young people, while also ensuring that compliant UK industry is not undermined by non-compliant and/or illegal sources, whether they operate in the UK or overseas.
Members of the Age Verification Group are also currently funding a BSI Publicly Available Specification code of practice to provide a yardstick for assessing good practice on the part of those providing age-restricted items or services online.