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AVPA calls UK government to legalize digital age assurance

AVPA calls UK government to legalize digital age assurance

An age verification trade organization is urging the UK government to swiftly adopt regulations allowing stores to use age assurance technology when selling alcohol.

In a letter to the UK Home Office, the Age Verification Providers Association (AVPA) argues that the country may lose its first-mover advantage in digital proof of age and age estimation if it does not make the right regulatory moves.

“Delaying a change to the law here which creates a level playing field for healthy competition in this country will inevitably give the competitive advantage to very large global platforms,” says AVPA. “[These] are already seeking to set alternative de facto standards that favor their own dominance in the market.”

In January, the UK government launched a consultation on legally adopting digital identity for age verification in alcohol sales. The changes would also include amending the Licensing Act 2003 which only allows age verification for alcohol sales in person, without the aid of technology.

The consultation, which covers England and Wales, officially closed on March 30th.

AVPA gathers companies working in age assurance, including age verification and age estimation. In partnership with the Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS), the organization has created a mechanism to enable any approved issuer to accept a digital proof of age (dPASS) in any participating location. The mechanism is built on the global mobile Driving Licence (mDL) standard 18013-5 and relies on QR codes, according to the organization.

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) is also working on a framework of standards and governance for secure digital identity.

The UK will host the Global Age Assurance Standards Summit in Manchester from April 8 to April 12, 2024. The event will bring together experts on age assurance measures. Biometric Update will be covering this event extensively over the week.

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