June 20, 2019

NEWS RELEASE Age Verification delay is an opportunity to fix privacy in porn block

The Open Rights Group has responded to reports that government plans to force online porn companies to verify the age of users have been delayed again. According to reports by Sky journalists, DCMS had failed to notify the European Commission about the measures in the Digital Economy Act.


Executive Director Jim Killock said:

“While it’s very embarrassing to delay age verification for the third time, this is an opportunity for the Government to address the many problems that this ill-thought through policy poses.

“Age verification providers have warned that they are not ready; the BBFC’s standard to protect data has been shown to be ineffective.

“The Government needs to use this delay to introduce legislation that will ensure the privacy and security of online users is protected.”

Last week, Open Rights Group published a report into the BBFC’s Age-verification Certificate Standard, which outlines measures for AV providers to demonstrate that they will keep users’ data safe. ORG’s report shows that the Scheme provides little assurance to the 20 million adults that are estimated to watch porn in the UK. You can read the key criticisms of the report here:

https://www.openrightsgroup.org/press/releases/2019/org-report:-bbfc-age-verification-standard-is-pointless,-misleading-and-potentially-dangerous

Since the report, one Age Verification provider, the 18+ App has declined to the use the scheme so that they can monetise their product through what they call “digital wallets".

For more information, contact Pam Cowburn, 07749 785 932, pam@openrightsgroup.org