You're still free to choose

We all know that technology’s changing fast and that mobile phones, tablets and other devices give us quick and easy access to a wealth of information and entertainment. But they also mean that anyone – including children – can easily access high-resolution hardcore pornographic images and videos.

Through age-verification, the Digital Economy Act 2017 (DEA) puts protections in place to help make sure that children are as safe as possible online, and not faced with unsuitable content.

At the same time, neither the UK Government, nor the BBFC as the age-verification regulator have any wish to restrict adults’ freedom to access any content they want to, so long as it’s within the law.

Balancing access with protection

Under the DEA, all online commercial pornography services accessible from the UK are required to use age-verification controls to ensure that their content is not normally accessible to children.

This means that adults will be required to demonstrate that they are 18 or over before accessing online pornography – although we should stress that it’s confirmation that’s required and not personal identification.

It’s a similar process to those in place for UK-hosted pornographic video-on-demand (VoD) services, online betting, poker, and other age-restricted products and services.

If a child stumbles across a pornographic website that has age-verification in place, they won't be able to see any content. But your freedom to choose remains unchanged.

Age-verification protects children from stumbling across pornography online, while if it’s legal, adults can watch what they want.