What is the Digital Economy Act?
In April 2017, the Digital Economy Act (DEA) received Royal Assent to address key issues regarding online communications services relating to the UK’s digital economy. The concept behind the legislation was to implement tougher provisions on copyright offenders, improved transparency of broadband speeds as part of a push towards true net neutrality, the sharing of citizens’ data and the online age-verification of adult content.
The bill differs somewhat to the original Digital Economy Act 2010 drawn-up by the Labour Party prior to the 2010 General Election. Once the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition arrived into office, much of the original legislation was canned.
However, its successor, the DEA 2017, was eventually brought through as an Act of Parliament due to the need to build a better infrastructure for the UK’s digital future and to provide vital protections for minors from age-restricted online content.
The approved legislation is only applicable to commercial pornography websites at present, with no restrictions said to be possible on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The final review of the regulations pertaining to age verification controls for commercial pornography websites has been completed by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and it is now a waiting game for the UK government to decide a date for the act to go live.
What we do know is that commercial pornography websites will be given a grace period of three months to get their age verification systems in order. All UK-based users accessing commercial pornography websites will have to verify their age on the front page before accessing the remainder of the site.
These websites will be free to select the age verification methods they wish to use, but they must be compliant with the DEA 2017. Users will also be given the option of choosing how they wish to be age-verified, depending on the level of information they wish to provide third-parties.
Of course, with the threat of cyber-fraud still as prevalent as ever, some online consumers may be loathed to send sensitive information about themselves to third-parties for fear of the data falling into the hands of cyber-criminals.
At AVSecure, we hear those concerns. That’s why we’re making available the Age Verification Card, which is trusted by AVSecure to offer a Zero Knowledge Proof solution for visitors to pornography websites.
It’s as easy as buying a lottery ticket. Users simply purchase an Age Verification Card from one of 60,000 retail stores across the UK. The only verification necessary is the face-to-face verification at the point of sale. Users then enter their unique 16-digit code on the back of their card into AVSecure’s AgePass software to generate unique access tokens, with no additional identity or data necessary.
When the Digital Economy Act 2017 does eventually go live, be sure to keep our age verification services in mind for a pain-free and anonymous way of meeting age-verification compliance that is such a necessary measure in 2018 and beyond.