Nottingham NSPCC has welcomed new age verification requirements on UK pornographic websites after a crackdown on internet safety.

Expected to be announced on Safer Internet Day, 8 February, the new law is a product of the draft Online Safety Bill. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) are pleased to hear about the implementation of the internet safety laws which aim to protect children from harmful explicit material.

The new legislation, requiring porn users to prove that they are over 18, could see users having to supply credit card details or upload a digital form of identification as part of the process. However, it will fall down to the companies to decide how the new requirements are met and which method of age verification they choose.

Failure to comply with these regulations could see the sites face fines of up to 10 per cent of their annual turnover or an internet block making them unavailable in the UK, as enforced by Ofcom.

Audio: Andrew Burrows, Head of Child Safety Online Policy at NSPCC, talks about the dangers of pornography for children

According to studies, 10 per cent of people in the East Midlands use mobile data to view and read erotic fiction, making the area the 4th highest in the UK.

  • Studies have shown that 51% of male students and 32% of female students first saw porn before they became a teenager
  • The average age of first exposure to porn in men is 12 years old
  • 57% of teens search for porn at least monthly
  • Experts say that children of this age are also at huge risk from predators

Statistics from The Most Up-to-Date Pornography Statistics – Covenant Eyes

Although it is down to the websites to decide how they obtain age verification, the government warns that no further data should be stored for any other purpose. This advice follows warnings that storing such information of porn users could leave them susceptible to hackers or blackmails, as it would be an ideal target.