Current Region:
Global

AVPA responds to Ofcom consultation on Pornographic websites

March 5, 2024

The AVPA has responded to the consultation by Ofcom on how it intends to regulate pornographic websites under Part 5 of the Online Safety Act.

We were broadly supportive of their approach, but there is one major ommission – the definition of “highly effective age assurance”.

Based on the work of experts developing international standards for the IEEE and ISO we have proposed:

Highly effective age assurance systems must demonstrate that their certified expected outcomes are such that more than 95% of children under 18 are prevented from accessing primary priority content, and more than 99% of children under 16 are prevented.

We are concerned that without expressing any opinion on the maximum acceptable false positive rate there will be a race to the bottom as sites which host primary priority content interpret the requirement as loosely as possible.  Less accurate solutions are generally cheaper, and will also deliver a larger audience for sites whose commercial model is based on advertising and traffic volumes.

It is hard to see how Ofcom can defend in court action against a site that has deployed a solution which allows for up to 20% false positives, with perhaps 10% of them being more than 5 years below the age of 18, if the service provider has documented that that it considers this level of accuracy to be highly effective.

Ofcom may argue that 20% is too great a level of error, but would at that stage be forced to state what level is deemed sufficiently effective anyway

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab
Privacy; a foundational concept for age verification

Privacy; a foundational concept for age verification

Perhaps the most frequent concern raised about age verification is a risk to privacy.  But the essence of age assurance is the ability to prove your age online WITHOUT disclosing your identity.  Our industry would not exist were there not the absolute need to preserve...