Porn rule change pushed back to summer - here's what you need to know

Online pornography providers will be required by law to carry out age-verification checks on users, to ensure that they are 18 or over.

Thursday, 18th April 2019, 1:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th April 2019, 1:24 pm
Pornography providers will be required by law to carry out age-verification checks

The new law, which is the first of its kind, was originally planned to come into force on April 1.

Websites that fail to implement the new rules - which will come into force on July 15 - face having payment services withdrawn.

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Pornography providers will be required by law to carry out age-verification checks

Margot James, Minister for Digital said: "“Adult content is currently far too easy for children to access online. The introduction of mandatory age-verification is a world-first, and we’ve taken the time to balance privacy concerns with the need to protect children from inappropriate content.

"We want the UK to be the safest place in the world to be online, and these new laws will help us achieve this.”

The government confirmed that the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), which classifies movies in the UK, will be the age verification regulator.

"On entry into force, consumers will be able to identify that an age-verification provider has met rigorous security and data checks if they carry the BBFC's new green 'AV' symbol."

Carolyn Bunting, chief executive of online safety group Internet Matters, welcomed the introduction of the new rules.

"We are delighted to see the government tackling the issue of online pornography - as children seeing content they're not emotionally ready for can be very damaging, especially if they don’t speak out about it." She said.

"There is no substitute to having regular and honest conversations with your child about what they're getting up to online, establishing an open dialogue about their digital life from a young age."