The UK government has announced that its age verification laws to prevent minors from viewing pornography will take effect starting 15 July 2019. Initially planned to take effect in April, the ruling is the first of its kind in an effort to stem minors from freely accessing adult content.
Come 15 July, people in the UK will have to submit identifiable documents like credit cards or passports to online age verification providers. Alternatively, they can show such documents to shops selling what will be known as a porn pass. The porn pass will then be used in lieu of IDs when surfing the web for porn.
Enforcing the law are the British Board of Film Classifications (BBFC) and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The former is responsible for assigning age ratings to video content in the UK, and will fine or block services that fail to comply with the ruling. On the other hand, the latter will oversee the awarding of the Age-Verification Certificate to the providers of such services.
The ruling faced some push-back from privacy advocates, due to the part of the process that involves the submission of ID. They argue that such a process opens people up to scams and blackmail. On the flip side, British Digital Minister Margot James stated that the government has “taken the time to balance privacy concerns with the need to protect children from inappropriate content.”