large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Online porn blocker could be a ‘privacy timebomb’ for 20 million Brits

The much maligned UK porn blocker comes into effect next month, but privacy advocates claim the age verification restrictions could become a data protection nightmare.

According to the Open Rights Group, the ID checks coming into effect on July 15 will create a “privacy timebomb” due to the current ‘baseline’ nature of data protection legislation.

“Due to the sensitive nature of age verification data, there needs to be a higher standard of protection than the baseline which is offered by data protection legislation,” Open Rights Group executive director Jim Killock said (via Independent).

“The BBFC’s standard is supposed to deliver this. However, it is a voluntary standard, which offers little information about the level of data protection being offered and provides no means of redress if companies fail to live up to it.”

Related: Best VPN 2019

Under new laws, content providers will be forced to carry out ID checks on users to ensure they are over 18 years of age, but with 20 million UK adults set to be asked for verification to access porn, any breaches could put around a third of the country at threat.

However, according to a YouGov poll over three-quarters of the country still don’t know the checks are being introduced. 76% of Brits remain unaware of the decision to bring in the legislative plans last July.

Once the age rating checks are in place, Brits looking to circumnavigate the new rules will be required to use a virtual private network (VPN) in order to convince the adult sites they’re accessing the content from a different country.

However, according to the department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS): “This is a world-leading step forward to protect our children from adult content which is currently far too easy to access online.”

Mr Kinnock says the standard is “pointless and misleading.”

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.