UK & Australia moving forward with age verification legislation

Both the UK and Australian Governments are advancing their agendas to ensure that adult content sites ensure their users are 18 years old or over.

In the UK, the planned Online Safety Bill will be expanded to legally require “robust checks” are made by websites. Chris Philp, the digital minister, said “We are now strengthening the online safety bill so it applies to all porn sites to ensure we achieve our aim of making the internet a safer place for children.” Under the plans, the UK’s Ofcom will be able fine sites up to 10 per cent of their annual worldwide turnover or can block them from being accessible in the UK if they fail to act. The legislation had initially only targeted commercial porn sites that allow user-generated content, now all commercial porn sites are to be included within the scope of the proposed new rules. Age verification should be a implemented on any website displaying pornographic content and the sites should not process or store data that is irrelevant to the purpose of checking age.

Australia’s eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, intends to present the roadmap to the federal government by the end of the year that outlines that age verification trials are now under way in Australia for online gambling and alcohol sales, and are projected to be expanded to include online pornography as the federal government looks to restrict sexually explicit content on the internet from underage children.

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