UK Delays Implementation of Age Verification Laws

United Kingdom

United Kingdom Adult Age Verification Laws Delayed

Is anyone really surprised that the deadline to implement the UK age verification standards got rolled back? According to the UK government, it was because they needed more time for the British Board of Film Classification to hold it’s public discussion on the matter, but there’s a much bigger elephant in the room; the fact that the law might be impossible to implement, could lead to massive leaked data, and enforcement would be bureaucratic nightmare. Oh yeah; and the British Board of Film Classification needs more time. Let’s go with that.


Issues The Digital Economy Act Faces


Non-Compliant Sites / Foreign Sites

The biggest issue has to be what to do with non-compliant sites. Apparently the UK Government is going to fine them. Good luck with that. It’s hard enough to get pirated content removed from foreign sites, due to their countries not recognizing foreign intellectual property laws. Good luck getting them to pay a fine because they don’t verify age before displaying their pirated content.

The Western influence does go far in the global community. But only so far. The United Kingdom might have jurisdiction over any webmaster in their country, but good luck enforcing it on a global level. if I personally received some sort of formal charges from the UK, I’d laugh. I’m in America where we have this thing called the First Amendment. If Great Britain thinks they can dictate what I can and cannot do, and demand payment from me, they should probably read a history book. We only fought a war over this. they lost.

Before you start getting all “America This!” and “Freedom That!”, the US Government is drafting similar laws. ‘Land of the Free’ and ‘1st Amendment’, my ass! We’re just waiting for the UK to stumble and fall, so we can learn how to stumble and fall better than them!


Identifying and Blocking Non-Compliant Sites

The government has a brilliant solution to that issue! They’re going to block all the non-compliant sites. That’s great…….If you’re able to do that. How is this going to work exactly? Is there going to be a team of people going through different domains to see if they have explicit content that isn’t behind a paywall or age verification system? Will this team be outsourced to India? What is the protocol for blacklisting a site after it’s been identified?


Non-Compliant Site Whack-a-Mole!

Another bureaucratic nightmare. for one; it’ll never be 100% comprehensive. I’m sorry, but how many tlds are there? If gets blacklisted, it’s easy enough to start up And And And I think you get the idea.

So, those that want to manipulate the UK market are going to end up playing a never-ending game of whack-a-mole with the UK government. Those that don’t want to manipulate the UK market? They’re going to be non compliant with no fucks given. And although they aren’t trying to hide from the UK government, the burden of identifying these millions of sites is still going to be a burden placed upon them.


Hacking and Data Breaches

This is an issue that a lot of opponents have raised. Whenever there is data collection, there’s the potential for a data breach. And you can’t blame anyone who doesn’t want their personal porn habits exposed. What type of kinky shit do you think the UK Parliament is into? Maybe after some crazy hacker compromises a site, we’ll get those kind of answers!

Okay, so paysites already have this sort of data. They’re also CPI-Compliant, which means that they’re on another level than your common affiliate. To be “Compliant” and to be “Secure” are two completely different things. Unless the government is going to dictate the standards of which said sensitive data must be encrypted and stored, in which case, it’s still not immune.

And this isn’t your Netflix account getting banned or your World of Warcraft account getting stolen. This is the entire office knowing that you’re a closet sub for Empress Mika and that she humiliates you on a regular basis. (Which little does anyone know, but the rest of your co-workers are also Mika subs, so nothing to be ashamed about).

Whenever there’s taboo, the data breaches become that much more relevant. If someone’s browser history got leaked to the general public, I know the first thing they’d be worried about…….


Will It Be Implemented By Year’s End?

The future will tell. But it’s one thing to say “This is the law”, and another thing to actually enforce said law. Especially when you’re trying to regulate the entire globe. UK webmasters will be compliant, for sure! They’re actually in the jurisdiction of the UK Government. The rest of the world? The major players will play ball. That affiliate marketer in India though? Good luck with that.

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