Australians who watch porn online could soon have to provide their personal details before they can access adult material.

Children's increased usage of technology including apps, tablets and devices has led to a disturbing trend of kids as young as eight being exposed to explicit and hardcore content, according to a report from a House of Representatives inquiry.

The inquiry into age verification for online wagering and online pornography has recommended numerous measures to combat the trend, including implementing age verification measures to stop kids and teens accessing adult material.

The inquiry is investigating age verification technology for pornographic sites, based on a UK model.


The UK proposed making users visiting porn sites prove they were 18. The government abandoned the plan in October after a series of major technical issues.

The Australian report said three "crucial factors" needed to be sorted out to succeed where the UK scheme failed.

These included ensuring a level playing field for regulation, making age verification easy for consumers to use and raising public awareness of the need for age verification.

The report found a third of parents with children aged between two and 17 were concerned about them watching or being exposed to porn.

Children's charity eChildhood said in its submission "a third of students aged eight and under attempted to access online pornography in the past six months", according to data from an internet filtering company. This included attempts to access porn that was advertised to children through pop-up ads.

The charity's executive director, Tamara Newlands, said changes in technology had resulted in children having "unfettered access to hard-core pornography at their fingertips 24/7".

Advocacy group Collective Shout said UK research found 28 per cent children aged 11 to 12 had seen pornography online. In the 15 to 16 age group, the number jumped to 65 per cent.