MP calls for law to force online shops to verify age

A bill has been introduced in Parliament which would force online retailers to check customers' ages before selling goods that cannot be sold to children.

"Since there is no law that says it is illegal to sell the cards to persons under the age of 18, one is bound to wonder how carefully many retailers monitor it. Using the card, Zach was able to order XXX porn videos from Amazon, and knives from Tesco that were delivered to his home where he signed for them personally. Oddbins delivered some Vodka to his house, and apparently William Hill let him bet £10 on a football match," said Moran.

Though many websites ask customers to verify that they are over 18, Moran said that this was not sufficient protection. She said that the gambling industry was having to find ways to ensure online gamblers were over 18, and the retail industry should also be searching for technology to make this possible.

"The Gambling Act 2006, which came into force last September, specifically requires online gambling companies to implement an age verification service that is in no way dependent on the method of payment being used," she said. "In relation to gambling, the House has said it is not acceptable simply to ask people to confirm their age."

"We require companies to verify that their customers are over 18, for themselves, separately. We did that specifically and solely to protect children. There are technological solutions, and companies are providing online age and ID check solutions in order to screen minors," she said.

The Bill will have its second reading to the House of Commons on 16th May, at which point it will be generally debated. Most Private Members' Bills do not become law but can succeed in raising awareness of an issue.