Controversial plans by the British government to force all adult sites to introduce age verification checks on UK visitors or face being blocked, have been put back until later in the year. The scheme was due to begin next month, but in the last few weeks it has become clear that nobody has any idea how to implement these checks and webmasters were left without any official guidance whatsoever. There have also been concerns voiced at what these checks mean for the privacy of porn surfers.
Ever since the Digital Economy Act became UK law this time last year, we’ve known there would come a time when porn sites would be compelled to verify the age of British visitors to ensure they’re only letting adults in. Not long after, the UK’s digital minister set a deadline of April 2018, at which point porn sites would have to comply or face the consequences. We had assumed everything was on track, but the UK government has admitted we’re nowhere near ready to police porn sites, and now it expects age verification won’t be enforceable until the end of the year.
The UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport announced over the weekend the recipients of a £25 million ($35ish million) pot earmarked for 5G projects. The fund will support trials of 5G-equipped drones geared for “smart farming,” internet of things things in healthcare applications and autonomous vehicle tech, among other research. Curiously, the government slipped into this release an admission that we don’t yet have clear guidelines drawn up for porn sites to follow, and so mandatory age verification will be delayed until these sites know what’s expected of them.