People who pay for child porn online can now have their credit and debit cards cancelled under changes to the law, the government has announced.
The cancellation of cards will be left to the discretion of banking providers. The industry has welcomed the news.
“No card provider wants to be associated with those who commit these crimes,” said Paul Marsh, director of cards at the UK’s payments association Apacs.
“With this change in the law our members will have the information they need to remove offenders’ cards.
“They will not be able to use the same cards to offend again.”
A clause of the Data Protection Act meant that providers were not previously allowed to compare credit card records to see if they were being used to buy illegal material.
The proposed changes to the act were also met warmly by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), which provides a hotline to report illegal online content.
“All commercial sites reported to us in 2005 were hosted overseas, however the content was available to purchase in the UK,” said Peter Robbins, IWF chief executive.
“To address this we work in partnership at home and abroad to disrupt these opportunities to sell and buy child abuse images.”
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