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'Porn passports' set to be introduced in Europe in world first move

'Porn passports' set to be introduced in Europe in world first move

Viewers would have to receive an official government certificate

So-called 'porn passports' are set to be introduced in Europe in a world-first move.

France is hoping to tackle the issue of minors being exposed to pornography by introducing an age verification system, with some questioning whether the UK will follow suit.

Currently, users only have to click a button saying whether or not they're 18 - the legal age for pornography consumption.

However, with the new measures in place, viewers would have to install a government phone application in order to receive an official digital certification and code proving their age.

The new measures mean users will have to undergo an age verification process to access pornography.
Abaca Press/Alamy Stock Photo

Speaking to French paper Le Parisien, the country's Digital Minister, Jean-Noel Barrot, explained that he intends to 'put an end' to the issue of minors accessing content that they could find shocking or traumatising.

He explained that 'porn passports' would 'work a bit like the checks from your bank when you buy something online'.

"I intend to put an end to this scandal," said Barrot, adding, "In 2023, it is the end of access to pornography websites for our children.

"I intend to uphold the law once and for all."

Reuters pointed to a 2018 poll published by the French government's site on protecting children against explicit material.

The survey found that nearly one in three children have been exposed to pornography by the age of 12, and this figure jumped to 62 percent by the age of 15.

The UK previously considered a similar 'porn ban', which would have meant people accessing adult content online would only be able to do so with proper age verification checks.

Users would have had to supply a legitimate form of identification such as a credit card, driving licence or passport.

Had the plans gone ahead, this would've made the UK the first country to introduce such measures.

However, in October 2019, just a few months after it was set to come into effect, the government scrapped the ban altogether.

As such, Barrot explained that France will now be the first country in the world to make the move.

Some experts believe this could push the British government to consider reverting to the plans, especially as Tory MPs are calling for stricter barriers in place.

In 2020, a study by the British Board of Film Classification titled ‘Young People, Pornography and Age Verification' found that 51 percent of children aged 11-13 years old have seen pornography.

What's more, 61 percent of the participants in this age group described their viewing as 'mostly unintentional'.

The aim is to help protect minors from accessing adult content online.
PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

As for the public's view on introducing age verification, a 2021 poll of more than 2,100 UK adults saw 81 percent agreeing with the following statement: "The government should implement age verification to protect children from all online pornography."

Meanwhile, 79.5 percent of UK adults agreed with the statement: "There should be an age limit of 18 years for access to online pornography."

Featured Image Credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd UC_A/True Images/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: UK News, World News, PornHub, Politics