The UK porn ban is set to come into effect this July, the government announced.
As of July 15, anyone using the internet to search for adult content will have to prove that they are over 18 or face being blocked from seeing any adult content online.
The government also revealed that any commercial provider of online pornography will have to carry out ‘robust age-verification checks on users’ to ensure they are over the age of 18.
Internet users will have to enter personal details into a privately-owned database or buying a pass from newsagents.
According to the government, there will be a number of ways for people to prove their age which will be more in depth than simply typing in a date of birth or ticking a box.
Any site failing to comply with these rules could face having payment services withdrawn or be blocked for all UK users.
Minister for digital Margot James said: “Adult content is currently far too easy for children to access online.
“The introduction of mandatory age-verification is a world-first, and we’ve taken the time to balance privacy concerns with the need to protect children from inappropriate content.
“We want the UK to be the safest place in the world to be online, and these new laws will help us achieve this.”
However, campaigners have attacked the new rules claiming it could compromise the privacy of the people who co-operate with them.
Jill Killock, executive director of Open Rights Group, told the Independent: “The government needs to compel companies to enforce privacy standards.
“The idea that they are ‘optional’ is dangerous and irresponsible.
“Having some age verification that is good and other systems that are bad is unfair and a scammer’s paradise – of the government’s own making.
“Data leaks could be disastrous. And they will be the government’s own fault.
“The government needs to shape up and legislate for privacy before their own policy results in people being outed, careers destroyed or suicides being provoked.”
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) will enforce the new rules and will give websites a period of time before July 15 to make sure they adhere to the law.
“The introduction of age-verification to restrict access to commercial pornographic websites to adults is a ground breaking child protection measure. Age-verification will help prevent children from accessing pornographic content online and means the UK is leading the way in internet safety,” said BBFC chief executive David Austin.
“On entry into force, consumers will be able to identify that an age-verification provider has met rigorous security and data checks if they carry the BBFC’s new green ‘AV’ symbol.”