Open Rights Group Submission to BBFC Consultation on Age Verification

Apr 25, 2018

We asked the BBFC to warn the Government about the dangers of age verification.

Today, the Open Rights Group is publishing its response to the BBFC consultation on age verification for online pornography. The response is a clear call for the BBFC to notify the Government about the dangerous and unsustainable nature of the policy.

On the 23rd April 2018, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) closed their consultation on their age verification guidelines for online pornography. The consultation called for the public’s views on the guidance that the BBFC plan to issue to the providers of age verification tools.

Under the Digital Economy Act, websites will soon have to actively verify that all UK users are above the age of 18 before allowing them to view pornographic content. This means using age verification technology, and as the age verification regulator, it is the BBFC’s job to issue guidance dictating how these age verification systems should work.

The Open Rights Group submitted a response to the BBFC’s consultation highlighting a number of issues with the proposed age verification system. Today they are publishing the full 22-page document that we submitted to the BBFC, principally authored by myself.

While compiling this response, I also assisted the Open Rights Group in running a web campaign which called for supporters to submit their own responses to the consultation. A staggering 550+ supporters used our online tool to submit their own responses.

The full PDF document of our response can be downloaded here.