Age Verification – An Unsung Hero Protecting Kids Online
Whether used for knowledge, entertainment, communication, or making money even, people of all ages are deeply immersed in using the internet as an integral part of their daily lives. The fact that users as young as 3 to 5 year old have online access is concerning to parents and businesses. The internet opens doors to all sorts of age-restricted content, including the ability to purchase alcohol and other consumables that are deemed illegal for minors.
Hence there exist laws such as the COPPA, FFDCA, and NVP that must be followed to protect the young from inappropriate things. However, these little users are smart enough to bypass existing security since making an email with a fake date of birth is extremely simple in this current day and age. This raises the need for effective tools that could help ensure the successful security to keep kids on the safe side of the net.
What does age verification help solve?
Abuse of minors
The exist of youngsters on the internet makes them a target to harmful individuals since as sexual harassers, pedophiles, and cyberbullies. Current age restrictions are not enough to prevent users below the age of 14 from making an account on the internet. This makes them, especially the abused, highly likely to fall victim to identity fraud. Bad experiences even online tend to have prolonging if not everlasting effects on these users with every second child being a victim to some form of abuse. Requiring users to present a form of evidence that verifies they are old enough to use social media helps eliminate these troubles
Obligation to regulations
Businesses online are required to keep caution to prevent sales being done to minors especially by those selling age-restricted content. With more than 4000 people suffering from alcohol-related injuries, proper age checks using online identity verification services help businesses avoid hefty fines and obey child protection laws and other regulations such as KYC and AML compliance. It also helps marketplaces avoid kids from misusing their parents’ credit cards and reduce the chances of chargeback which harms banks and businesses both.
Prevention of fraud
Online games that make a business selling downloadable content such as skins and additional features often attract young users and make purchases using their parents’ cards. Cases such as a kid in the UK spending more than £3000 on a single game also catch the attention of scam artists that target these kids to spend money to get in-game currency and content only to be scammed and have their payment info stolen and misused. More than 1000 fraudulent websites exist that claim to be selling V-bucks, the in-game currency of the ever-popular game, Fortnite which has nearly 80 million monthly players. With age verification, underaged users are blocked access from making purchases, especially on gambling websites.
How does Online Age Verification work?
Advancements of the technology today make a manual process like age verification online and automated to the extent that it is foolproof, simple, and quick. The procedure is undergone in different ways.
The user is verified by checking their ID document. This could be their national ID card or passport, etc. Technology such as AI and OCR help validate the document and capture the data present, verifying the age of the user by matching the date of birth on the document with that which is legally defined. The AI is smart enough to identify and catch the use of forged or fake documents that minors would use when trying to buy alcohol or tobacco.
The face of the user is checked and matched if authentic and valid with the documents provided using facial biometrics. Liveness and depth detection help prove the realness of the user’s face in case they try to fool the system using a picture or mask during the moment where their face is scanned.