Age Verification: The Importance of Protecting Children (Infographic)

Why is Age Verification Important?

In our highly connected society, it is possible for consumers to access and purchase almost anything online – including age-restricted content and products such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling or gaming. It is our responsibility and obligation, in this growing customer-not-present environment, to protect minors and keep goods and services intended for adults out of the reach of children.

Fortunately, advanced age and identity verification solutions exist that foster online trust and allow businesses to ensure their customers are who they say they are when selling, marketing or distributing age-restricted or age-sensitive products, services or content. The result of these solutions is a safer online environment for children that supports adult freedom and choice and protects sensitive identifying information.

Below, please find an infographic demonstrating the importance of age verification – especially when protecting minors.

Knowledge-Based Authentication and COPPA Compliance:

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently approved “knowledge-based” authentication (KBA) as a method for obtaining Verifiable Parental Consent (VPC) under the Children’s Online Protection Act (COPPA). In order to be “appropriately implemented”, organizations must determine whether their KBA technology:

  • Generates “dynamic, multiple choice questions”
  • Asks a “reasonable number of questions with an adequate number of possible answers” to ensure that “the probability of correctly guessing the answer is low” and
  • Uses “questions of sufficient difficulty that a child age 12 or under in the parent’s household could not reasonably ascertain the answers.”

Online organizations directed towards children under the age of 13 must obtain Verifiable Parental Consent (VPC) prior to collecting any personal information. Prior to the inclusion of KYC as a method for obtaining Verifiable Parental Consent, the following methods were embraced by the FTC for satisfying COPPA:

  • Form signed by a parent
  • Credit/debit card or other payment information
  • Calling a toll-free number
  • Videoconference
  • Verifying parental identity against a form of government-issues ID
  • Traditional “email plus” where an initial parental consent is performed via email and with a later follow-up message

This is also significant development for any organization providing age-restricted products or services such as alcohol, tobacco and online gaming or gambling when employing dynamic knowledge-based authentication which protects children and meets COPPA guidelines. To learn more about dynamic knowledge based authentication and how to implement KBA within your organization, click here.

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