Back to top
Back to all articlesBack to all articles

Age Verification System for Adult Video Content Delayed


The proposed and already delayed age-verification system for online pornography will be pushed back by around six months after the UK failed to notify the EU of its proposals, culture secretary Jeremy Wright has said.

The system, which will require adults wishing to view pornographic content to provide some form of identification to confirm their age, was due to be implemented 15 July. Under the law, ISPs will be required to block all commercial pornographic sites and apps which don’t implement an age-verification gating. These sites could also have their access to payment services revoked.

But the ban, initially introduced as part of the Digital Economy Act, has been serially pushed back, most recently from April, when the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said it was “taking time to get the implementation of this policy right.”

The latest delay appears to be because of an administrative blunder, as the government didn’t comply with European law about how statutory instruments are passed.

“In autumn last year, we laid three instruments before the house,” Wright told the House of Commons. “One of them sets out standards that companies need to comply with. This should have been notified to the European commission, and it was not. This will result in a delay in the region of six months.”

He said that the delay didn’t mean the government was backing down the policy, however.

“There are also those who do not want these measures to be brought in,” he said, “but let me be clear, although this is an apology for the delay, it is not a change in policy. Age verification needs to happen, and in the interest of the needs of children, it must.”

However, Labour’s Cat Smith said this further delay was “proof that an important policy issue has descended into utter shambles.”

“When this legislation was going through this place Labour raised serious concerns about whether the verification process was viable … This delay shows we were right to be concerned,” she said.

A YouGov poll conducted in March found that more than three-quarter (76%) of Britons were unaware such an age-verification policy was even being implemented.

Lauren Smith
Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith has worked as a journalist and copywriter for most of the last decade, covering technology, energy, and consumer rights, in the US and UK.

Read all articlesRead all articles

Read on our blog

With the government poised to implement tough new measures to...

TalkTalk Confirms Huge Bills Hikes from Friday
30. 03. 2022 | Lauren Smith

Budget broadband provider TalkTalk has been notifying customers via email...

A year-long investigation by charity Citizens Advice has revealed a...

All English Schools Will Have Gigabit Broadband by 2025
23. 03. 2022 | Lauren Smith

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has announced a new commitment to...