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UK age verification checks aren’t just coming to porn sites

Social media sites could soon sit behind an age-verification barrier for users based in the UK.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport this week revealed that the government is planning to put the system − which sounds similar to the age verification checks planned for porn sites − in place early next year.

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This came after Margot James, the Minister of State for Digital and Culture, told the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee that such a move was a possibility.

“We will keep a watching brief on how effective those age verification techniques turn out to be with the commercial providers,” James said on Tuesday. “We will also keep a close eye on how social media platforms develop in terms of the extent of pornographic material on those platforms, particularly if they are platforms that appeal to children.”

However, it appears that the plans are much further along than James was letting on.

“We hope to have the legislation in place by the end of the year, subject to Parliamentary proceedings. The powers will then come into force following a three-month implementation period,” the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport subsequently told the Daily Telegraph.

As porn enthusiasts all over the UK are well aware, you’ll soon have to prove you’re over the age of 18 in order to get your fill of adult entertainment online (unless you use a VPN).

This had been supposed to happen in April, but the plans were pushed back to December at the last minute. Teenagers across the nation will be thrilled to hear that there’s been another significant delay.

“We can expect it to be in force by Easter of next year and I make that timetable through the knowledge we have laid the necessary secondary legislation before parliament,” said James.

“I am hopeful of getting a slot to debate it before the end of the year. We have always said that we will permit the industry three months of getting up to speed with the practicalities and delivering the age verification that they will be required by law to deliver.

“We have also had to establish with the British Board for Film Classification, which has become the regulator, and they have had to consult on the methods of age verification.”

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In other words, it appears that little progress has been made since the plans were first announced back in 2017.

Do you feel comfortable with the government’s age verification plans? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @TrustedReviews.

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