UK Considers AI to Restrict Youth Access to Explicit Content


To protect young people from explicit online content, the UK is utilizing AI

The Office of Communications (Ofcom), the UK telecoms regulator, has suggested new age-check guidelines that would use AI-based technology to prevent minors from accessing pornographic websites. This is but one instance of the applications for AI.

The UK recently approved the Online Safety Act, requiring websites and applications that publish or display pornographic material to make sure that minors cannot access it through their services.

“We expect all services, regardless of their approach, to provide strong protection against children coming across pornography, as well as to ensure that adult users’ rights to privacy and freedom to access lawful content are protected,” stated Melanie Dawes, CEO of Ofcom. In Britain, anyone over the age of 18 is allowed to watch porn.

How Access Control Will Be Aided By AI

The regulator defined its recommendation for facial age estimate as utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to evaluate the attributes of a viewer. It might be necessary to take and upload a selfie using a gadget for this. In addition, credit card checks and photo identification matching which require a user to upload a photo ID, like a passport or driver’s license, to establish their age are included in the proposed guidelines.

Dangers To Privacy

The Institute of Economic Affairs, a free-market research organization, claimed in a Reuters story that requiring age verification will jeopardize user privacy and put consumers at risk of misuse and breaches by piling up private information in the hands of third parties. Early in 2025, Ofcom plans to provide its final set of guidelines.

Tech companies and the UK government have been debating the Online Safety Act. Ofcom has requested access to platforms like WhatsApp and Signal so that it may monitor user activity and remove content that may be considered child abuse. WhatsApp and Signal have been resisting the law, claiming that it will compromise the apps’ end-to-end encryption, even though Britain claims that the regulation is required to safeguard children.

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