Protection of minors & on-demand services: Ofcom consults on appropriate measures

posted on 22 July, 2021   (public)

Ofcom is seeking views on material that may impair the physical, mental or moral development of minors on on-demand services

Amending the existing "Statutory Rules and Non-Binding Guidance for Providers of On-Demand Programme Services (ODPS)", the new guidance proposed by Ofcom reflects the requirements of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive*, which was implemented and retained in the UK legislation after Brexit.

According to the new requirements, ODPS have the obligation to take appropriate and proportionate measures to ensure that any material that might impair the physical, mental or moral development of persons under the age of 18 is not normally seen or heard by them.

Ofcom's guidance intends to help media providers identify and assess the "specifically restricted material" and implement the appropriate and proportionate measures accordingly, including notably robust age verification for pornographic material or age ratings, content warnings and parental controls for other harmful content

The consultation is open until 14 September 2021 and the final guidance is expected later in 2021.

Further information of interest:

  • Ofcom has recently also consulted on guidance for providers on whether their services fall into the scope of the on-demand programme service regulations and how to notify to Ofcom if they are in scope. This scope consultation closed on 26 May 2021; final guidance is expected later in the Summer. 
  • Ofcom will be consulting on guidance in relation to the new obligations relating to European Works in 2021.

Source: Ofcom

*Article 6a of the AVMSD