UK now Allows Kids to Watch Porn

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The UK government has abandoned plans to have a nationwide age verification system for online pornography. This follows years of technical troubles and concerns from privacy campaigners. If the plan would have required all pornography websites to ensure users were over 18.

The few pornography websites that would refuse to comply with the policy faced being blocked by internet service providers or having their access to payment services restricted. However, according to the UK culture secretary, Nicky Morgan, the government has come up with new measures that are expected to introduce a new internet regulator, which will impose a duty of care on all websites and social media outlets, not just pornography sites. For age verification tools, the UK government said it remains open to using them in the future.

‚ÄúThis course of action will give the regulator discretion on the most effective means for companies to meet their duty of care,” she said.

When age verification policy was first proposed, it took years to be made law. The British Board of Film Classification was tasked with overseeing the system, but concerns over the system from the public grew. Despite repeated reassurances from pornography websites and age verification sites that personal details would be kept separate from information about what users had watched, privacy campaigners continued to raise concerns about data security.

This decision to abandon the plan is a hard blow to businesses that had invested substantial time and money developing verification products as they had capitalized on a large amount of Britons expected to verify their age in order to view legal pornography. Estimates revealed that one age verification provider estimated the potential market was as many as 25 million people.

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