Children's access to online pornography is a matter of serious concern, even where that content is not illegal. As stated by the Taoiseach in the Dáil recently, it is a matter of concern to all of us that many young people learn about sex through pornography, particularly as such material is not an accurate representation of what is healthy or appropriate behaviour. Exposure to such material at a young age is certainly inappropriate and potentially harmful.
The United Kingdom has proposed to introduce age verification requirements for commercial pornography providers, to be overseen by the British Office of Film Classification. This is a difficult area and there are many important concerns regarding data protection, privacy and proportionality.
The Government will engage with the UK on their proposals when they have been in operation for a period.