Digital Age Verification – Protecting Minors From Consumption Of Age Restricted Products

 

The digital space offers many opportunities for minors where they can learn, get entertained, and ensure self-development at the same time. Children have a higher risk of becoming a victim of the evolving threats in the digital space. There is a need to protect minors from consuming products that are not appropriate for their age. Binary checks or checkboxes for age verification have become outdated and smartly deceived by minors. With inadequate age verification measures, minors gain access to age-restricted products. The consumption of such products will have a bad effect on the child’s mental health.

Importance Of Online Age Verification 

The online age verification mechanism is used to verify the age and identity of the end-users. Businesses need to incorporate age verification solutions to and deliver their products to legitimate audiences while preventing underage access to their services. It helps online e-commerce businesses to reduce chargebacks costs claimed by parents on account of purchases made by their children without their permission. Even though there are strict rules for payment card verification, the majority of minors evade these methods easily.

Methods of Online Age Verification

There are different ways through which online age verification is performed. In manual age verification, the end-users were required to fill in age verification checkboxes to validate their age. This method doesn’t fulfill the true purpose as it could be deceived easily. The world is moving towards the adoption of state-of-the-art technologies as well as advanced solutions for customer age verification online.

 

Payment Card (Credit/Debit) Verification

This procedure requires the end user to submit his credit card details. This process ensures the individuals above the legal age limit are using the credit card and verifies them.

 

Government Issued Identity Documents

This method verifies the age of the end-user through passports, ID cards, and driving licenses. OCR technology collects the information from end-user-provided ID documents and verifies them against government authenticated records to authenticate his age. 

 

Semantic Interpretation

This technique is used to analyze the degree of sophistication of people having a specific age who are more likely to use different methods while creating an online profile. Various businesses use semantic-based search algorithms to examine user-entered information and detect widely used words by minors.

  

 

Consequences Of Not Using Age Verification Solution

Companies that lack an effective age verification mechanism fail to verify whether their products are suitable for the end-user or not. What will happen if an online arms dealer sells a weapon to 15-year-olds or online alcohol merchandise delivers alcohol to minors? The outcome will be shocking since teenagers are getting involved in inappropriate exercises. It will have a negative influence on a minor’s mental health. Additionally, the companies providing these products are at high risk.

 

Brand Reputation At Risk

When a consumer has to purchase a product online, he looks for popular brands that have a good market reputation. Age verification solutions are not only aimed to protect minors from underlying risks but also in establishing a superior reputation in the market. Businesses need to incorporate a digital age verification solution to protect minors similar to businesses that are working physically. Online businesses are under the strict supervision of regulatory bodies, therefore the need to adopt an age verification mechanism is necessary. Non-implementation of adequate age verification measures will create a negative brand reputation.

 

Observation Of Regulatory Compliance

Online businesses are facing the crucial challenge of compliance with strict age verification rules and regulations. Inadequate age verification and customer due diligence (CDD) procedures expose minors and age-restricted product sellers to higher risks. For each country and jurisdiction, there is a different set of age restriction laws for monitoring the consumption of products and services. The Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance accredited by the European Union is a formidable task for online merchants to fulfill. The lack of simplicity in regulations makes it burdensome for sellers of age-restricted products to perform their operations smoothly.

 

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