Government drops risky age verification plan

Open Rights Group (ORG) has been warning about major privacy risks in plans for age checks on adult websites since they were proposed in the Digital Economy Act 2017.

After numerous delays the unworkable plan was finally dropped in 2019, averting a massive privacy risk for millions of UK residents.

GET THE FACTS ON AGE VERIFICATION

Learn more

There’s absolutely no question children must be protected from harmful content – but age verification remains a flawed plan that would create new problems instead. Its privacy protections were merely optional for companies and would have prompted the creation of vulnerable records of the public’s porn preferences. That could lead to people being outed, blackmailed or having their careers destroyed. 

The Government has yet to say what it will do to protect children from adult content – but says plans will be contained in the next Online Harms Bill. Groups who have promoted this “silver bullet” policy aren’t going to give up just like that.

Thanks to help from our supporters, Open Rights Group was able raise the alarm about age verification’s privacy risks and convince the Government they were making a huge mistake. 

The Story So Far

Age Verification is dead – for now

Open Rights Group welcomes this change for two reasons.
Read more

We met to discuss BBFC’s voluntary age verification privacy scheme, but BBFC did not attend

We invited all the AV providers we know about, and most importantly, the BBFC, at the start of February.
Read more

We asked the BBFC to warn the Government about the dangers of age verification

On the 23rd April 2018, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) closed their consultation on their age verification guidelines for online pornography.
Read more

More Information

Press Releases