Today we are publishing our response to the BBFC consultation on age verification for online pornography. We're calling on the BBFC to tell the Government about the dangers of the policy.
On the 23rd April 2018, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) closed their consultation on their age verification guidelines for online pornography. The consultation called for the public’s views on the guidance that the BBFC plan to issue to the providers of age verification tools.
Under the Digital Economy Act, websites will soon have to ensure that all UK users are above the age of 18 before allowing them to view pornographic content. As the age verification regulator, it is the BBFC’s job to dictate how these age verification systems should work.
Open Rights Group submitted a response and highlighted a number of issues with the proposed age verification system. Today we are publishing our full 22-page consultation response, which you can find linked in this blog post. We are also grateful to all the members and supporters who used our online tool to submit their own responses to the BBFC. We counted over 500!
In our consultation response, we raised a number of concerns with age verification systems. Most notably, we suggested that:
If you wish to read our full consultation response, you can download the full PDF here.
The BBFC will now spend some time in the coming weeks considering submissions to the consultation, and may choose to amend some of their guidance in response. The guidance must then be approved by both Houses of Parliament before it becomes official.
Some other responses to the BBFC’s consultation can be found below: