Now, Australia may introduce 'age gating' for porn users

WION Web Team
Melbourne Updated: Feb 10, 2022, 11:00 AM(IST)

Australia's eSafety commissioner is making preparations to implement age verification for online porn Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The trials are reportedly set to begin in April and June in Australia with experiments involving facial recognition technology

According to reports, the Australian government could bring a new legislation to ensure age verification to watch pornographic content.

Reports claim Australia's eSafety commissioner is making preparations to implement age verification for online porn with guidelines due to be presented before the government by year-end. 

The eSafety agency is reportedly considering coordinating with the country's Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) to take part in trials to explore the minimum age for accessing online pornography.

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The trials are reportedly set to begin in April and June in Australia with experiments involving facial recognition technology. In a similar move, a UK bill proposes people to prove their age on adult websites a part of new internet safety laws.

The UK bill proposes a person to prove they are over 18 by producing a credit card or confirm their age through a third-party service with sites to be fined upto 10 per cent of their overall turnover if they fail to implement the rules.

According to the eSafety report to the Australian House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs’ it said that there is a "need for a legislative and policy structure that carefully balances the fundamental rights of all citizens including privacy, security and safety of citizens online."

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The agency said it would work on "age gating" which would allow only people within the "age-range attributed" being allowed to view the content. Most sites at present use self-declaration either manually or within the age-range attributed as being appropriate to view the content, it said.

"Age gating can simply restrict access to the content, providing users with an error message or re-directing them to more age-appropriate content," the report noted.

The report highlighted that advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning has enabled platforms to identify users through their "behavioural and online signals".

"Age verification is one possible solution to address and minimise children and young people’s access to online pornography," the report stated while adding that it is "imperative" to guide and "educate children and young people as they navigate through digital environments".

(With inputs from Agencies)

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