People living in the UK and having access to the internet would require proving they are 18 years or older before getting access to adult sites, the government has announced today.
Such websites would be legally bound to apply age verification controls by April 2018, in order to make the internet safer for children in the UK.
As the UK is heading towards the digital economy, the government has set out rules in the Digital Economy Act, according to the act the websites not compliant with the rules would face blocking by their Internet Service Providers ISPs.
Stakeholder of these websites e.g. supplying payment systems and services will also be notified about the breach if occurs.
The government says it will organize a regulatory body to oversee the issues and enforce new rules across the country, presumably British Board of Film Classification would be asked to do this job as the organization already controls age limits on films and games.
According to BBC, Digital minister Matt Hancock will formally begin the process, Mr Hancock said in a statement, “While we can enjoy the freedom of the internet, the United Kingdom will have the most robust internet child protection measures, we may not see anywhere in the world.”
Will Gardner for an internet safety charity organization “Childnet” said in a statement, “Steps like this, to restrict the content, along with free parental controls and education, are the key to child protection in the digital era.”
NSPCC report in 2016 unveiled some damaging figures about accessing adult and restricted content online. The report says, online access to adult content seriously damages child’s development and decision-making capabilities which have been seen 65 percent in children from 15 to 16 years old and 48 percent from 11 to 16 years old.
The study also confirms that 28 percent of children have found such content on the internet while browsing whereas 19 percent of them have searched for it.