Wed. Jun 29th, 2022

Government officials in the United Kingdom are working on a way to punish online porn sites that allow children to view their products.

Christian Concern has documented a draft “Online Safety Bill” that would force websites that provide porn to customers to have “robust checks in place to ensure their users are 18 years old or over.”

It would affect sites like PornHub, OnlyFans and other social media sites, video platforms and even search engines.

The organization explained the plans, which remain a work in progress, would let “companies themselves to decide how to comply with the new rules, but sites may choose to use secure age verification technology to verify that the viewer possesses a credit card and is over the age of 18, or by using a third-party service to confirm the person’s age against government data.”

Such age verifications already are in use by gambling site operators.

Companies that decline to comply could be fined up to 10% of their global turnover, the report said.

“Groups, including Christian Concern, have been campaigning for years for governments to enforce age-verification controls for online pornography. This was one of the main policies we encouraged the government to adopt in the 2019 General Election. A recent poll suggests some 83% of parents agree that age-verification controls for online pornography should be in place,” Christian Concern explained.

Officials in the U.K. estimated more than half of children ages 11-13 already had been exposed to porn. By the time children are 16, that figure in nearly 80%.

The government, in confirming the plan for the age limits, said, “There are widespread concerns this is impacting the way young people understand healthy relationships, sex and consent. Half of parents worry that online pornography is giving their kids an unrealistic view of sex and more than half of mums fear it gives their kids a poor portrayal of women.”

Civil liberty campaigners have expressed concern over privacy issues, as well as a resulting database, which could be hacked by blackmailers.

“However, this claim goes unfounded, as Iain Corby, executive director of the Age Verification Providers Association explained: ‘By using independent, third-party organizations which are audited and certified to comply with the highest standards of data protection and security, adults can be confident their own privacy will be preserved while their children are protected,'” Christian Concern said.

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