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UK Will Use AI to Determine Whether “A User Is Of X-Rated Viewing Age”

On Tuesday, Britain recommended new age-check advice to prevent youngsters from accessing pornography online, including the use of AI-based technologies to determine if a viewer appears to be of legal age.

According to the government’s newly passed Online Safety Act, sites and applications that display or publish pornographic content must ensure that children are not generally able to encounter pornography on their service. The legal age for drinking in the United Kingdom is 18 or older. According to a 2021-2022 research by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England, children first encounter online pornography at the age of 13, with over a quarter encountering it by the age of 11 and one in ten as young as nine.

Children's social care – the Children's Commissioner's view | Children's Commissioner for England

“Regardless of their approach, we expect all services to offer robust protection to children from stumbling across pornography, and also to take care that privacy rights and freedoms for adults to access legal content are safeguarded,” Melanie Dawes, chief executive of media regulator Ofcom, said. The regulator described their approach to estimating facial age as using AI to assess a viewer’s attributes. That would necessitate taking a selfie on a smartphone and uploading it.

The watchdog also advocated photo identification matching, which would require a user to provide a photo proof of identity, such as a passport or driving license, to establish their age and credit card verification.

Another idea was open banking, in which users might agree to their bank sharing information with internet porn sites to certify they are over the age of 18. The Institute of Economic Affairs states that mandatory age verification threatens user privacy. It exposes users to breaches and misuse by increasing the quantity of sensitive data held by third parties.

Weaker measures, such as self-declaration of age, online payment methods that do not need a person to be 18 years old, and disclaimers or warnings, the regulator said, would no longer fulfill the standards in its new guidance. Ofcom plans to release its final guideline in early 2025.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff at AI Surge is a dedicated team of experts led by Paul Robins, boasting a combined experience of over 7 years in Computer Science, AI, emerging technologies, and online publishing. Our commitment is to bring you authoritative insights into the forefront of artificial intelligence.


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