July 15, 2019

DCMS urged to make porn privacy scheme compulsory

Open Rights Group has today sent an open letter to DCMS Secretary of State, Jeremy Wright, calling on him to introduce legislation requiring the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to make their privacy certification scheme compulsory.


The letter notes that the BBFC privacy standard contains broadly-worded provisions that allow age verification providers to write their own rules and that there are no penalties for providers who sign up to the scheme and fail to meet its requirements.

Jim Killock, ORG Executive Director, said:

"Highly sensitive sexual data should be protected to the highest standards; instead, the vague and voluntary BBFC scheme leaves consumers unable to know who they can trust. DCMS needs to act now to fix this disaster."

Open Rights Group has also today launched an age verification advice site for individuals and organisations at: https://ageverificationfacts.org.uk.

Killock added:

“Millions of UK adults and teenagers are likely to be looking for answers on what the law means and how they can keep their personal data safe. Our site offers practical guidance to Internet users and site owners on how age verification works and what the risks are for their personal privacy.”

Ends.

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Contact:

For more information, please contact pam@openrightsgroup.org - 07749 785 932

Notes to editors:

Letter available here: https://www.openrightsgroup.org/about/reports/open-letter-to-dcms-bbfc-age-verification-privacy-certification-scheme

The age verification scheme under Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 was due to come into force today. It has been delayed for a period of six months as it had not been properly notified to the European Commission.

The BBFC’s Age verification standard was published in April 2019:
https://www.ageverificationregulator.com/assets/bbfc-age-verification-certificate-standard-april-2019.pdf

ORG's analysis of the standard is here:
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/assets/files/reports/report_pdfs/AV_Security_Standard_Analysis_2.pdf

Open Rights Group’s age verification advice site for Internet users and site owners is freely available at ageverificationfacts.org.uk.