Insights Ofcom announces review of measures UK adult websites have in place to protect children


As well as consulting on the protection of children online, Ofcom has also launched an enforcement programme into the age assurance measures of UK adult sites under its current powers to regulate video-sharing platforms (VSPs) established in the UK.

Ofcom notes that these platforms are already required by law to take measures to protect people using their sites and apps from harmful videos.

In October, Ofcom published a report highlighting its concerns that small UK-based adult sites may not have robust measures in place to prevent children accessing pornography. The regulator warned that if the adult sites it currently regulates did not have in place a clear plan for introducing robust age assurance measures over the next year, they could face enforcement action.

Ofcom says that it is also concerned that some UK adult sites may not have notified it that they fall within its jurisdiction. Accordingly, Ofcom is reviewing the wider UK adult VSP sector to identify whether there are other platforms that may be in scope of the current regime and may not have sufficient measures in place to protect children from pornographic content.

This enforcement programme will examine the scale of potential compliance concerns in the sector. Ofcom says that it will then determine whether any further action, including formal investigations, is required.

Ofcom expects to provide a progress update after four months. To access the enforcement programme web page, click here.