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Online Age Verification: Why Minor Protection Needs a Viable Solution 

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It goes without saying that the younger generation is much more drawn towards technology and its trends. You cannot deny the fact that there are many learning opportunities in the digital space for children, but you must acknowledge the fact that there are equal risks as well. That being said,   businesses providing services in the online space need to be aware of user privacy and the well-being of the younger audience. This is important because the internet is full of age-restricted products and services that can have a bad influence on underage users.

Consuming such products can not only deteriorate the mental health but also develop bad habits in minors, affecting them in the long run. To cater to the needs of minor protection standards and abiding by global age verification rules and regulations, robust age checks need to be implemented at online platforms so that children could be safeguarded against the harms. 

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Old-school Means of Age Verification 

Everybody knows the platforms that can be accessed by a single click of the button; specially minors who should not be visiting these websites. Why would someone even visit such a place if they aren’t supposed to be there?  Children below the legal age limit are prohibited to consume services provided by these vendors. Some common examples include buying tobacco and alcohol products, performing a non-consented authentication on a guardian’s payment card, and taking part in R-rated games. 

Traditional methods of verifying age at websites have become old, and witty minors can easily outsmart them by either using their parents identity or giving out false information. These conventional methods are no longer robust enough to guarantee that an online user is an actual adult or not. Some of these methods include:

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  •  Verifying user identity via. email
  • Submitting date of birth, and address information on a website through an online form
  • Clicking on a consent approval button after a disclaimer message
  • Mobile-based authentication through a one time generated password (OTP)
  • Submitting someone else’s document but not cross-checking and verifying the details and the ID authenticity

What Segregates Online Age Verification?

Digital age verification solutions installed or integrated at websites and online platforms can not only prohibit any user below the restricted age limit to consume age-exclusive content, products, and services but also so keep the business intact with compliance regulations. These systems ensure that the documents provided by an online user are authentic and that the user identity and their age through detail checks are validated as well. 

Apart from that, the inclusion of biometric facial recognition with these solutions guarantees that no identity thief is successful in carrying out impersonation fraud. Minors no longer can deceive parents and use their credit cards to verify and authenticate payments, since now, the facial identity is matched against the actual cardholder – which is the parent in this case. This ultimately helps businesses in reducing chargebacks that cost them a fair amount of revenue at scale. Businesses selling age-restricted products can fulfill their corporate social responsibility of minor protection through digital age verification software too.

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Abiding by the Laws

In today’s era, it is not easy to start a business and sell products without a better market plan and a delivery strategy.  You need to chalk out a framework of who your audience is and what kind of products they can consume, and which they cannot. When it comes to such products that a particular age group is sensitive to, the business needs to take precautionary measures and put in place regulatory standards that guarantee safe delivery of these products to the right audience.

Regulators across the world are concerned about children taking part and adult websites, alcohol e-liquor stores, online gambling platforms, and e-betting. To address these problems, regulatory authorities have implemented age verification across the corporate landscape. 

GDPR

One such example is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)  that is issued by the European Union, EU.  Although this is a data protection act, it mentions that the age of consent for any online user ranges from 13 to 16 depending upon the country, and the type of service or market. Apart from that, this regulation states guidelines for service providers on how to collect, process, and store information of children to maximize privacy protection.

 COPPA

Another fine example of age verification law is the COPPA, also known as Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which is a federal law in the States and a mandatory requirement for online businesses selling age-restricted services. According to the context of this law, guardians have more parental control over their children’s consent and consumption of online products.  

With a robust age verification solution in place, online businesses can not only comply with acts like COPPA and GDPR but also avoid non-compliance fines and penalties that could save them a big deal of money in the long run.

To sum things up, age verification is the need of the hour –  to not only save children from wrongfully accessing age-exclusive content but also help businesses to comply with regulations and fulfilling their moral and social obligations. 

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Fawad Malik
Fawad Malik
Fawad Malik Technology geek by heart, blogger by passion. Expert in enlightening the latest technology reviews & news to the world. Also helping people to build quality backlinks, drive massive traffic, and develop relationships in a great way. Contact Fawad at [email protected]

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