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Online Age Verification: It’s Significance for Digital Businesses

 

Online Age Verification

Online businesses these days are under a lot of pressure from global regulators to perform age verification before they provide their services on the internet. Age verification holds its importance in many industries including e-gaming, gambling, tobacco, alcohol, online dating, etc. Due to its widespread significance, it is also useful in the travel industry where online scammers carry out many forms of cybercrime. Fraudsters will use the stolen identities of children to scam travel agencies in booking rides and hotels on behalf of someone else. 

Child identity theft is pretty common these days and is a growing concern for businesses. The Social Security Number (SSN) is proof of identity given to a child at the time of birth. It is used to verify a child’s identity till the time they are registered as a legal citizen of a state. SSNs are used to authenticate child identity, but if they are compromised, can cause a lot of problems. Cybercriminals steal the personally identifiable information of minors to conduct a series of travel scams. This is when digital age verification becomes a need of the hour.

What is Digital Age Verification?

A process in which the original age of a user is verified over the internet is called digital age verification. It takes into account essential age information to validate if a person registering to a platform is above the required age or not. Due to long and tedious procedures, many businesses have replaced manual age checks with online age verification to make the process streamlined and effective. It also helps maintain the all-important customer loyalty and global reputation that helps businesses in taking the competitive edge. 

Why is it Important for Businesses?

Corporate Social Responsibility

It is the ethical and social responsibility of businesses to not only make a profit but also add value to the market by providing age-tailored services. Merchants selling and proving age-restricted products need to validate the age of customers before carrying out their operations. An age verification solution can help e-stores of age-exclusive services to stop minors from consuming content not appropriate for their age. Online age verification not only helps fulfill that corporate social responsibility but also makes a business gain prominence in the eyes of global regulators. 

Keeping off Bad Actors

Dubious criminals on the internet are always in pursuit of tricking children into giving their identity information so that they can use it to make a financial profit. One such example is the travel industry where scammers can obtain personally identifiable information of children to book rides, check-in at hotels, or go to any destination stop using false credentials.

 Age verification provides a solution to this problem by verifying whether the age information provided by the user is authentic and submitted by the original user or not. By running a series of age checks like facial recognition and document verification, digital age authentication can confirm legitimate users of the appropriate age.

Apart from minors, fraud in pension and old age funds are also a challenge that age verification can take care of. Fake and synthetic identities used by fraudsters can be caught on the spot and prevent them from being used illegally. 

Complying with Regulations

Regulatory compliance is the driving force for performing age verification checks at websites and online platforms. Below is a list of compliance regulators around the globe that deem age verification as an important part of customer onboarding:

  • European Union (EU)

  • FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network)

  • FATF (Financial Action Task Force)

Some Laws for age verification are also listed below:

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

  • Children’s Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)

  • The UK’s Byron Review

In case of non-compliance with age verification laws, online businesses need to face serious consequences including hefty penalties, a loss of global reputation, and customer loyalty. 

To sum it all up, digital age verification protects minors from the harms of child identity theft and potential cybercrime. Travel scams can also be prevented with age verification checks.

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