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Written Question
Pornography: Internet
Wednesday 24th March 2021

Asked by: Baroness Featherstone (Liberal Democrat - Life peer)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of current age verification tools in protecting children from seeing adult content online; and what plans they have to ensure that the efficacy of such tools are addressed as part of the forthcoming Online Safety Bill.

Answered by Baroness Barran - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)

Although the government will not be mandating the use of specific technologies through the legislation, we do expect that the regulatory framework will drive innovation and take-up of age assurance solutions, where some in-scope companies will be required to identify child users and provide them with a higher level of protection. This includes the use of age verification technologies to prevent children from accessing high-risk content such as online pornography.

We are continually assessing the benefits of technical measures while developing online safety policy. We are also working closely with stakeholders across industry to establish the right conditions for the market to deliver robust and effective age assurance solutions ahead of the legislative requirements coming into force. This includes working with regulators and industry to deliver transparency on the efficacy of solutions.