UK plans to force pornography websites to verify age of users

UK lawmakers are voting to require pornographic websites to verify the age of their users, or face fines or be blocked from operating in the country. — UK Parliament/REUTERS

The UK government said it will force all websites that publish pornography to verify the age of their users as part of its Online Safety Bill.

Sites will be legally required to put "robust checks” in place to ensure users are 18 years old or over, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said on Tuesday in an emailed statement.

That could include using technology to verify users possess a credit card, or getting a third-party service to confirm a person’s age against government data, it said.

If websites fail to act, the independent regulator Ofcom will be able to fine them up to 10% of their annual global sales or block them in the UK, the department said.

Lawmakers will vote on the legislation in the coming months. Last week the government said online platforms like Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc. would be required to show how they pro-actively prevent harmful content from spreading. – Bloomberg

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