Ofcom presents guidelines on protecting children from online pornography

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Websites that display or publish pornographic content will be required to use age-guaranteeing measures, such as credit card checks and photo matching. identity of users, under the Online Safety Act.

< p>Online safety regulator Ofcom has published draft guidelines for platforms on how to protect children from pornography to ensure companies comply with new internet laws.

The draft guidelines say websites must use technically accurate and robust methods. , reliable and fair to carry out age checks, and recommends that companies consider options such as open banking - where a user consents to their bank sharing information confirming that they are over 18 years old.

Our practical advice presents a range of methods for highly effective age checks

Dame Melanie Dawes, Ofcom

Ofcom also suggests other methods that could be used. , such as photo ID matching where an uploaded document such as a passport is compared to an image taken at that time; verified facial age estimation technology; age controls on mobile networks that automatically block age-restricted websites if the operator knows the user is under 18; credit card checks or digital identity wallets in which a user's proof of age is digitally stored and can be shared with the online pornography service.

However, the regulator said some approaches would not meet its new standards, including self-identification. age declaration, online payment methods that do not require a person to be 18 years old, such as a debit card, or terms and conditions, disclaimers or content warnings.

Under the Online Safety Act, platforms that fail to comply with the new laws will be subject to enforcement action, including possible fines.

“Pornography is too easily accessible to children online, and the new online safety laws are clear and need to change,” said Ofcom chief executive Dame Melanie Dawes. said.

“Our practical tips present a series of methods for highly effective age checks. We are clear that weaker methods, such as allowing users to self-declare their age, will not meet this standard.

“Whatever their approach, we expect everyone to services that they provide strong protection for children from coming across pornography, and also ensure that the privacy rights and freedoms of adults to access legal content are protected. A version is published at the beginning of 2025, from which the Government will bring into force the obligations set out there...

Ofcom presents guidelines on protecting children from online pornography
IndyEatSign up for the View from Westminster email for expert analysis straight to your inbox. Receive our free View from Westminster emailPlease enter a valid email addressPlease enter a valid email addressI would like to be notified of email offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice{{ #verifyErrors }}{{ message }}{{ /verifyErrors }}{{ ^verifyErrors }}Something went wrong. Please try again later.{{ /verifyErrors }>

Websites that display or publish pornographic content will be required to use age-guaranteeing measures, such as credit card checks and photo matching. identity of users, under the Online Safety Act.

< p>Online safety regulator Ofcom has published draft guidelines for platforms on how to protect children from pornography to ensure companies comply with new internet laws.

The draft guidelines say websites must use technically accurate and robust methods. , reliable and fair to carry out age checks, and recommends that companies consider options such as open banking - where a user consents to their bank sharing information confirming that they are over 18 years old.

Our practical advice presents a range of methods for highly effective age checks

Dame Melanie Dawes, Ofcom

Ofcom also suggests other methods that could be used. , such as photo ID matching where an uploaded document such as a passport is compared to an image taken at that time; verified facial age estimation technology; age controls on mobile networks that automatically block age-restricted websites if the operator knows the user is under 18; credit card checks or digital identity wallets in which a user's proof of age is digitally stored and can be shared with the online pornography service.

However, the regulator said some approaches would not meet its new standards, including self-identification. age declaration, online payment methods that do not require a person to be 18 years old, such as a debit card, or terms and conditions, disclaimers or content warnings.

Under the Online Safety Act, platforms that fail to comply with the new laws will be subject to enforcement action, including possible fines.

“Pornography is too easily accessible to children online, and the new online safety laws are clear and need to change,” said Ofcom chief executive Dame Melanie Dawes. said.

“Our practical tips present a series of methods for highly effective age checks. We are clear that weaker methods, such as allowing users to self-declare their age, will not meet this standard.

“Whatever their approach, we expect everyone to services that they provide strong protection for children from coming across pornography, and also ensure that the privacy rights and freedoms of adults to access legal content are protected. A version is published at the beginning of 2025, from which the Government will bring into force the obligations set out there...

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