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India’s IT Ministry mulls face biometrics age verification for games to protect children

India’s IT Ministry mulls face biometrics age verification for games to protect children

An inter-ministerial task force led by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s (MeitY) recommends that online gaming companies use facial recognition technologies to reduce harms to children playing online, reports Medianama.

Reporting does not yet make it fully clear whether this would be facial recognition matched to registered identities, as has been the case in China (and now with night mode), or facial analysis more in line with Instagram’s pilots with Yoti.

Financial losses by playing with real money online have led to suicides in numerous states.

India is considering a central regulatory framework for its online gaming sector, reports the Economic Times, to cover grievances, player protection, data protection and advertising controls.

Members of Indian civil society discussed online safety for children in a recent event organized by Medianama. They noted how a significant technical challenge for ensuring online safety for children in India is that they rarely have their own device and use their parents’.

This allows easy access to sites and services not aimed at children and was part of the reason for games to require facial recognition in China.

India is still working on an overall Data Protection Bill and does not yet have a bill under development specifically to protect children. Participants were at odd as to which approach is better: make the internet safer for all, or help protect children first.

The UK made great strides with online child safety with the Age-Appropriate Design Code while the (potentially) upcoming Online Safety Bill has been further targeted at children over issues of free speech for requirements that would affect all users.

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