As a responsible business leader, and possibly a parent, you know the importance of protecting children from adult content online.
It’s not only the ethical choice. Not doing so could have a significant impact on your bottom line.
In the UK, you could face penalties of up ?250,000.
But creating too many hoops will impact the user experience and could lose you customers.
You need the right balance of protection and UX on your site.
Let’s explore what this law is and when you should require age verification online.
New Law in the UK
The days of kindly asking “Are you 18?” are over.
Under the Digital Economy Act 2017, those residing in the UK will soon have to prove that they’re 18 before entering an adult website.
Within this law, adult content providers will be required to install age verification online software to obtain this verification.
You have until April 2018 to comply. Gambling sites have had to do this for several years.
- Fines of up to ?250,000
- Being blocked by Internet Service providers
In addition, payment services who process payments for your site will be notified that you’re not compliant and may choose to stop processing payments for your website.
How This Will Be Enforced
This will be enforced by a regulatory body that isn’t named in the act. Many believe enforcers will be the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) that is responsible for age verification on films.
Another possible enforcer may be Pan European Game Information (PEGI) who rates video games and monitors their sales.
Children having access to adult content has been an ongoing concern. In many ways, the Internet has advanced much more quickly than the laws governing it.
The government is now catching up for the welfare of children.
In 2016 the NSPCC released a study entitled:
How safe are our children? 2016: The most comprehensive overview of child protection in the UK.
They were able to demonstrate the damage that pornography has on the development and decision-making of children. They found such damage in 65% of 15-16-year-olds and 48% of children 11-16.
The study further showed that staggering 28% of children stumble onto pornographic content online. For many, this is life-altering.
19% of children admitted to actually searching for porn online.
We must do a better job with age verification online.
Does this Apply to Your Site?
The law lists a very clear definition of the content that this law will apply to. Within this definition are the following:
- Videos with an R18 rating
- Unrated Videos would be R18 or above
- Produced solely for arousal
This will help us separate the sites like WINKS sensual massage whose purpose is not primarily arousal from the sites that are. You know who you are.
Age Verification Online Software
Compliance with these laws isn’t optional. And you could suffer real consequences by failing to verify age.
To protect children while minimally impacting your adult users experience, you’ll need to research age verification online software. We can expect many new players to enter the market so do your homework.
Have you had any experiences related to this software? We’d love to hear from you. Comment below.