A month ago HEXUS reported that the government's compulsory age verification system had been delayed. The system was being put in place to prevent children accidentally stumbling over explicit content online, however the behind-the-scenes tech wasn't going to be ready in time, according to a contemporaneous BBC report.
To be effective, age verification would require various / multiple forms of ID (perhaps passport info, credit card info, and/or others) being input by someone who wishes to browse a pornographic website while based in the UK. However, the sharing of such data rang alarm bells with many web users, for both privacy and security reasons. With data leaks and hacking activity in the headlines all the time, it is easy to imagine registered 'porn pass' users being ripped off and/or blackmailed.
Over the weekend news broke that there will be a rather more anonymous way to get an age verification code. The Independent reports that anyone who wants one of the 16-digit 'porn pass' cards will be able to pick one up at a high street newsagent by taking along ID such as a passport or driving license. Passes will cost around £10. There was no information provided about whether the 16-digit number would be tied to your ID on some database or other.
Websites that don't comply with the age verification checks face their sites being blocked by major UK ISPs and fines of up to £250,000 (US$350,000). Our last report on this government initiative said age verification checks would be in place by the end of the year. Before implementation the guidance needs final clearance by parliament.