LONDON — The House of Commons today agreed on final regulations necessary to introduce age verification for adult websites.
As part of the U.K.’s Digital Economy Act, commercial adult sites will be forced to show they are verifying users are over 18. Failure to do so could block companies from taking credit card payments or even see their sites blocked by ISPs in the U.K.
Today, Commons voted affirmatively on three statutory bills today that spell out commercial online porn regulations, BBFC guidance on service providers and BBFC guidance on AV solutions.
Margot James, a member of Parliament who is minister of the state Department for Culture, Media and Sport, spoke to the House of Commons on the measures that are set to go into effect before Easter.
James said that the new AV law “is not a total solution, and it is not foolproof. But it is a significant step forward” to protect children from exposure to pornography.
In the past two years, a handful of age-verification firms, such as AVSecure, AgeID and others, have started up to offer solutions as third parties to verify users’ ages.
Stuart Lawley, AVSecure’s CEO, told XBIZ that his company is pleased “that finally we have clarity on the process and certainty of the introduction timetable of AV.”
Lawley said that with the U.K. becoming the first country to introduce AV “many countries will follow and that in due course, robust, almost seamless, free age verification will become the industry standard not only in countries mandating it but also in other jurisdictions whereby the industry may choose.”