Age verification options and demand both growing up fast
One of the first projects backed by Innovatrics’ Biometric Ventures program is an age verification provider that uses face biometrics to assess the selfies of people requesting access to restricted content online.
“Current age verification systems work by relying on a person always telling the truth when stating their age. Therefore, young children can buy alcohol or visit adult content websites, which we want to prevent with our technology,” says Viktor Nyitray, CEO of Ageware. “Our biometric technology works on the basis of a five-year buffer, which means that if the age limit is set for 18, Ageware must determine the user’s age to be at least 23.”
Website users can submit a selfie to be analyzed and then deleted after a maximum of 10 minutes to comply with the data protection requirements of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If the age estimation leaves any doubt that the user meets the specified age minimum, they are asked to provide an ID document, which is analyzed with Innovatrics’ OCR and face biometrics.
Innovatrics and Auth0 parent Okta say Ageware compliments the extensible identity provided by the Okta Customer Identity Cloud.
“It has been really exciting to work with Ageware on a newly-built partner integration for the launch of Auth0 Marketplace. This best-in-class solution adds an integral layer to our platform that provides our customers with greater choice and flexibility,” says Cassio Sampaio, senior vice president of product, customer identity at Okta. “After speaking with many customers, we have identified the types of integrations that matter to them, and we are so thrilled to have Ageware as a vetted and valuable vendor in Auth0 Marketplace.”
The German Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media has approved Ageware, meanwhile, enabling its use by websites that sell restricted goods like alcohol and tobacco, as well as those hosting pornography and other content classified in the legislation as harmful to minors.
Age verification wave builds
German’s allegedly posting pornography on Twitter without putting measures in place to prevent children from seeing it have received letter from police threatening fines of thousands of euros, according to Wired.
Germany’s crackdown on the proliferation of mature content involves scans of social media and video platforms by an automated system, known as KIVI. The system uses AI to identify adults-only content,
A media authority spokesperson estimated that people found to have provided adult content without age restrictions will likely end up with fines of €300 (approximately US$322).
One of the content creators Wired spoke to expressed an interest in implementing age verification, but no such tool is provided by Twitter.
Twitter responded to inquiries as it does now to all press inquiries, with a feces emoji.
TikTok is using video age analysis to see if users are telling the truth about how old they are, CEO Shou Zi Chew told a U.S. Congressional hearing, as reported by TechCrunch.
Instagram has been expanding its use of Yoti’s facial age estimation, including in Europe.
TikTok met with Yoti and at least one other provider of facial age-estimation technology in 2021, according to Bloomberg, one of which was Yoti, but the company was worried that using biometric data to estimate age would be seen as evidence that the China-based social media company was spying on children.
As noted by TechCrunch, the opportunity for Congress to learn more about what TikTok is doing with the videos it uses for age estimation was missed.