LONDON — Age verification has been delayed in the U.K.
The government this weekend said that it needs more time for the British Board of Film Classification to hold public discussion over its proposed guidelines for age verification.
The government also said that age verification “will be enforceable by the end of the year.” Earlier statements said age-verification rules would go in effect at the beginning of April.
Under the Digital Economy Act, which was passed by Parliament last year, adult websites will be obliged to use age-verification software to block under 18s from accessing content.
In a release Saturday, the U.K. government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, along with Member of Parliament Margot James, said the following:
“In February, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) was formally designated as the age-verification regulator.
“Our priority is to make the internet safer for children and we believe this is best achieved by taking time to get the implementation of the policy right. We will therefore allow time for the BBFC as regulator to undertake a public consultation on its draft guidance which will be launched later this month.
“For the public and the industry to prepare for and comply with age verification, the government will also ensure a period of up to three months after the BBFC guidance has been cleared by Parliament before the law comes into force. It is anticipated age verification will be enforceable by the end of the year.”