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UK porn sites could soon require age checks via credit cards and passports

Sites will have to verify users’ ages without compromising their privacy.

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Image: KnowTechie

The UK is back with new internet porn restrictions. The country’s Digital Minister has announced plans for new age verification restrictions that would stop kids under the age of 18 from accessing porn sites.

A recent press release from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport outlines the new plan to restrict access to porn sites. The department, alongside Digital Minister Chris Philp, has introduced a new update to the upcoming Online Safety Bill.

The Online Safety Bill is a massive piece of legislation from the UK government that aims to restrict the amount of illegal activity that happens on the internet in the country. Part of the bill includes these restrictions on porn sites.

Initially, the UK’s restrictions only applied to porn sites that allowed for user-generated content, such as OnlyFans. But the government didn’t think that was enough. Now, the Online Safety Bill will restrict any site that shows pornographic material to users under the age of 18.

“It’s too easy for children to access pornography online,” says Digital Minister Chris Philp. “Parents deserve peace of mind that their children are protected online from seeing things no child should see.”

The age verification systems that porn sites will have to use in the UK are still up in the air. Possible methods of verification include credit card checks, verifying age with a user’s mobile provider, or using passport data.

As is often the case with restrictions like this one, the main concern is about user privacy. The government said that “measures companies put in place should not process or store data that is irrelevant to the purpose of checking age.”

Essentially, it will be the responsibility of porn sites and companies to ensure that users are over 18. But at the same time, the companies shouldn’t do anything that would compromise the privacy or security of its user. What could possibly go wrong?

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