Age Verification

Age Verification

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What does digital identity have to do with age verification, and how can we make the internet a safer place for children to be?

3 February 2022

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Age Verification

Age Verification (AV) – this one might sound simple, but we thought running through a few different types of AV might be helpful.

AV is simply businesses making sure their customers are the correct age to buy or access products and services that are only suitable for certain age groups.

Most obviously, to buy items like alcohol or tobacco in the UK, you must be 18 or over.

But there are other cases in which a business may need to know how old you are, for example when there’s a discount for over 65s.

For online retailers, making sure their customers are the right age can be challenging. There are a few different laws in the UK that online retailers must make sure they are abiding by.

Some methods of AV do not meet these laws, for instance, self-declaration. Have you ever had to tick a box saying you’re over 18 online? Or entered your date of birth to create an account that requires you to be a certain age? That’s self-declaration, a method being used less and less online due to its inaccuracy.

Here are some other types of AV that are being used more due to their higher accuracy rate:

Digital Identity

OneID Age Verification is an example – you use the data your bank already holds about you to prove you are the right age online. Log into your online banking, and consent to share the information. All done in under a minute, and you don’t even give away your age, just the fact that you meet whatever requirements are needed (for example, yes, I am over 18 but no, I don’t need to tell you how far over 18 I am).

Digital Identity via hard identifiers

Send a photo of your passport or birth certificate, and your age is taken from there. A pretty reliable method, other than fake documents, but a real faff considering you have to look for the document, inevitably have a panic when you can’t find it, take a photo of it once you have…

Information database checks

You enter some details about yourself such as your name, address, and age. A check is then carried out on a database such as the electoral roll, or a credit database, and if the information matches up, you’re good to go. Another great method to check your age but it does require some extra steps like information matching.

If you want to know more about age verification, AVPA or ACCS are the experts (and they’ve accredited our OneID age verification solution!). We hosted a webinar with some of their experts on the panel, you can watch the full recording here, or read up on highlights here.