The Spanish government has announced plans to launch a pilot project for age verification before the summer to curb minors’ access to pornography.
Government spokeswoman Pilar Alegría revealed the new system on Tuesday, disclosing that the Spanish Royal Mint is developing the plan under the oversight of the National Data Protection Agency (AEPD). The software has undergone testing on major internet browsers.
The proposed age verification strategy is part of a government plan that aims to transform into a law to protect minors on the Internet. This legislation will address various areas beyond early-age pornography consumption.
The government’s strategy involves working on three fronts:
- Launching an age verification system to restrict minors’ access to explicit content.
- Establishing two working groups—one interministerial, comprising the Justice, Equality, and Education departments, and another composed of experts from the Ministry of Youth and Children.
- Drafting legislation aimed at preventing minors from accessing adult content online.
Following a report from the Ministry of Justice, the government raised concerns about the data. The report indicated that half of Spanish youth aged 12 to 15 had consumed pornography at least once, with one in four children doing so before reaching the age of 12.
Additionally, seven out of ten youths aged 13 to 17 regularly viewed adult content, with 30% considering it their primary source of sexual education.
The report also commented on the negative effects of pornography on both children and adults, including distorted perceptions of sexual relations, psychological issues, the normalization of violence against women, and the risk of addiction. Furthermore, it noted that sustained consumption of adult content has a detrimental impact on libidos over the long term.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, in a statement to Spanish media a day earlier, expressed his commitment to passing legislation to prevent minors from accessing online pornographic content. He characterized the situation as a “real epidemic,” citing “horrifying” data results.