Digital Economy Act 2017

Expected to come into play in late 2018, the Digitial Economy Act will change the way UK consumers access content online.

Expected to come into play in late 2018, the Digitial Economy Act will change the way UK consumers access content online.

What is
the Act

The Digital Economy Act is a wide-reaching new piece of legislation which is broadly designed to regulate electronic communications infrastructure, services and content.

This new law will introduce mandatory age verification controls on websites publishing adult content, and also gives regulators more power to enforce this law.

In short...

Websites publishing pornographic content must employ approved age verification controls, to ensure all users accessing such material are 18 or over.

This applies to all websites accessed by users from the UK (determined by IP address).

Failure to comply with the Act’s requirements will lead to a variety of financial penalties for the website owner.

Website content will be regulated by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).

When the Act is enforced th BBFC will have the power to order Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block any non-complying websites.

Who does
it affect?

The Digital Economy Act will affect any website that contains any audio, photographic or video content that the BBFC deems as ‘pornographic’.

This classification covers ‘traditional’ porn websites, as well as adult dating websites, and sex bloggers.

A definition as to what constitutes ‘pornographic material’ is available on the Government website.

Who are
the BBFC?

The BBFC was confirmed as the regulator for the age verification of online pornography on 21 February 2018.

Established in 1912, the BBFC is a not-for-profit, non-government organisation that is responsible for the national classification of films exhibited at cinemas, and ‘video works’ released via physical media in the UK.

Read the Digital
Economy Act ...