VerifyMyAge: Lack of Confidence in Age Verification Process Reportedly Turns Off Half of UK Porn Consumers


LONDON–(COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Almost half of UK adults (21 million people over 18) have watched pornography online in the past month, according to a new study by age verification specialists VerifyMyAge.

But if online age verification was required to access this content, 55% of them said they wouldn’t use a website if they weren’t comfortable with how which they were asked to verify their age, while 32% said they were “not sure” would continue to use it. This is a sobering thought for providers of online adult entertainment, who face a significant loss of users and a challenge to their long-term sustainability if the verification regulations of the age does not materialize.

With online age verification mandatory to access adult online content looming in the UK and across Europe, these millions of consumers themselves may soon be faced with the choice of age verification. or lose access to the content they access so frequently.

This research follows a recent City University study, which found that 81% of 16-17 year olds in the UK have been exposed to sexually explicit pornographic videos or images, with 63% having seen it on social media. social and 47% on pornographic websites. . The study also found that minors most often viewed adult content through commercial porn sites. Separate research conducted by BBFC in 2019 also identified the shocking statistic that half (51%) of 11-13 year olds in the UK reported seeing pornographic content at some point, reaching 66% of 14-15 years.

Andy Lulham, COO at VerifyMyAge, said: “It is no longer acceptable for children to be able to access adult content online. The debate over online age verification has been going on for far too long, and consumers and content providers alike now need certainty.

“But providers of online adult content face a major challenge in ensuring that the age verification process is approved by consumers and ensures a transparent process, otherwise they will be looking for content elsewhere. Regulations must take this into account and provide a level playing field across the industry so that the challenges encountered are felt equally. ”

In order for consumers to trust age verification, it is essential that providers offer several different forms of identity verification, as well as privacy protection. Technology built today by vendors such as VerifyMyAge offers users up to 5 different verification methods, with more in development. Likewise, readily available technology ensures that personal data on users’ viewing history is not stored or recorded, and therefore cannot be hacked or disclosed, defeating arguments regarding privacy concerns.

A new report released today by VerifyMyAge outlines seven key policy considerations to ensure an online age verification system is fit for purpose:

  1. Providing sustainable regulation by relying on technology and innovation
  2. Prescriptive and precise regulations that will ensure adoption and compliance
  3. Guarantee a regulatory framework based on the fight against confidentiality issues
  4. Provide a frictionless experience for consumers
  5. Ensuring a level playing field for all online providers
  6. Application at all levels is essential
  7. A collaborative approach must be sought.

Lulham added: “The reality today is that the technology exists to provide a functional and commercially viable framework that addresses the concerns of all consumers, suppliers and privacy groups. It is time for governments to take action to create a world where the same guarantees exist online that are available offline. ”

In addition to details on these political considerations, the report, A template for age verification in online adult entertainment, describes the current situation in Europe, the main concerns of consumers and suppliers, as well as the technological solution to the problem.

The report is available online here.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

VerifyMyAge data from a study of 741 consumers, conducted via an online survey in March 2021

ONS – British adults (over 18), 2011 census: 78.7% of the population over 18

  • 66,796,807 – UK population estimate, mid-2019
  • 78.7% of that = 52,569,807
  • 40% of that = 21,027,635

City University, London survey – 1001 consumers, May 2021

BBFC London Survey – (1,142 parents and 1,142 children 11-17) September 2019


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