In the real world, industries that sell age-exclusive content have various checks at their end to ensure that their products do not reach children. Casinos and bars only allow individuals that are above a certain age to enter. Some countries even have placed a law on selling medicines. Sellers cannot sell certain medicines to minors.
All these measures are destined to protect the exposure of minors to them. Similar to the real world, the online age-restricted industries also have some regulations in place to stop minors from accessing them. These regulations are called age verification solutions.
This is a digital world. Everything that you can think of can be available on the internet. With the increasing adoption of technology and affordable smartphones, individuals from every age group have made this facility an essential part of their lives. Certain electronic websites sell age-oriented products or goods like tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis and there are sites that have content specifically designed for adults like gambling and dating apps. All these websites must have security checks to ensure that the right thing reaches to right people that it is made for.
Ensuring security checks in the real world is comparatively easy when parents can monitor the physical activities of their children like where they are going and what they are eating. Keeping an eye on the digital activities of minors becomes relatively difficult because they can be performed behind closed doors in the privacy of their rooms.
Considering the situation, a big part of the responsibility falls on the shoulders of sellers. They should be efficient enough to only allow consumers that are appropriate for that content.
Laws have been made by regulatory authorities to bound age-exclusive industries to have strong security measures to protect minors from facing any digital violence. Some years ago when it was a cool thing to have a digital space, the websites used to have simpler ways of verifying the age of the minors.
All the websites required from the user were to type their age manually or check the box if they are above a certain age. These simpler checks were based on the individual’s honesty level. The minor’s curiosity for the content made them lie at the moment and they are given access to the content.
(stat) Considering the number of times minors are trapped by the fraudsters and caught themselves in trouble, regulatory authorities moved to have sophisticated laws that would help the industries to practice age verification services efficiently.
Process of Age Verification
The process of age verification is simple yet effective to verify the age of a consumer correctly. First of all, the customer is required to submit their name and date of birth on the form that appeared at the time of registration. Then the website asks the individual to upload their ID document.
The age verification software then cross-matches the information submitted by the customer to that present on the document. The information is extracted through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and the verification of the document is also checked to verify that it is not forged or photoshopped. Access to the content is given if the customer falls within the given age limit.
Risks of Not Having Age Verification Services
A Bad Reputation in the Market
Online age verification is not only about protecting minors from age-oriented content but it also is helpful to businesses from experiencing a bad reputation. Online businesses have a huge responsibility of protecting minors from getting exposed to online fraud. It directly impacts their name when they fail to fulfill this responsibility and also comes in the eyes of media and lawmakers.
Lack Of Clarity On Regulatory Compliance
International regulatory authorities have designed laws that every industry irrespective of the nature of their work has to abide by. As businesses are operating from different regions of the world under different jurisdictions of age restriction laws, it becomes a bit difficult for them to comply with every regulation.
Along with a bad reputation and failing to comply with regulations, other risks attached to lack of age verification services include financial risks. Because of not obeying the laws, the businesses have to pay hefty fines and penalties from regulatory authorities.
To minimize the addressed risks, it is mandatory to have age verification services to protect minors from accessing adult-oriented content without stopping the age-appropriate individuals from consuming content to keep the flow of business going.
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