Age Verification: State of Play and Key Tendencies within the EU and UK

Regulators in Europe and past were ramping up their efforts associated with on-line protection for minors, via new law, steerage, and via selling self-regulatory equipment.  We talk about underneath fresh traits within the EU and UK on age verification on-line.

Some possible strategies of verifying customers’ age on-line come with self-declaration, parental consent, use of biometrics (together with facial popularity applied sciences to establish bodily options of the consumer’s face, or to test their correspondence with an ID image), research of on-line utilization patterns, and reliance on virtual ID verification methods presented via some governments.  Alternatively, neither regulators nor trade have up to now get a hold of a unmarried usual resolution.  

EU-level traits

On the EU point, there isn’t but a not unusual stance on the easiest way to ensure customers’ age on-line, neither is there more likely to be any time quickly because the strategies decided on are to be calibrated to menace.  There may be, alternatively, an expanding frame of EU legislation requiring organizations to undertake some suitable measures to ensure age. For example, the Audiovisual Media Services and products Directive calls for the adoption of suitable measures to offer protection to youngsters from damaging content material, together with via age verification.  The GDPR incorporates laws on acquiring parental consent the place consent is trusted because the criminal foundation for processing youngsters’s non-public information within the context of offering on-line products and services.  The lately followed Virtual Services and products Act (“DSA”) additionally incorporates laws on protective youngsters on-line – together with via now not serving them centered promoting in line with profiling. (For more info at the DSA, see our earlier blogpost right here). 

In Would possibly 2022, the Eu Fee introduced its Technique for a greater web for children (BIK+), list age verification as a concern.  To this finish, the Fee proposes to:

As well as, the Eu Information Coverage Board (“EDPB”) is predicted to factor pointers on youngsters’s information and on using applied sciences for detecting and reporting on-line kid sexual abuse, as introduced in its 2023/2024 Paintings Programme (see our earlier blogpost right here).

Nationwide-level traits on age verification

Nationwide-level steerage on youngsters’s privateness – similar to the ones issued via the French and UK information coverage government – have wired age verification as the most important safeguard.  Underneath, we set out some fresh traits in relation to age verification at a countrywide point.


The French Parliament is these days analyzing a legislative proposal to ascertain an age of “virtual consent”.  The present textual content of the proposal will require social community suppliers to put into effect qualified technical answers to ensure customers’ age and parental consent.  The certifying authority will be the newly created ARCOM (Autorité de régulation de l. a. communique audiovisuelle et numérique), which has competence over the audiovisual and virtual communications sectors.  ARCOM is predicted to create a repository of equipment, in session with the French information coverage authority, the CNIL.  The proposal has been followed via the French Nationwide Meeting, and is these days being mentioned inside the Senate. 

Additionally, in a observation of February 2023, the CNIL welcomed the release of an experimental resolution, with the intention to block get entry to to positive web pages and products and services reserved to adults, that complies with the GDPR and its 2022 suggestions.


To this point, the Italian Garante has now not issued particular steerage on age verification, however is an increasing number of lively in campaigns on youngsters’s privateness extra extensively.  In a observation, the Garante mentioned that age verification methods are “indispensable” to offer protection to youngsters.

In a up to date investigation in 2023, the Garante ordered the transient limitation of processing via an organization working an AI-powered chatbot.  The Garante discovered that the chatbot’s beside the point content material posed concrete dangers for minors and prone topics, and that the corporate had now not established any age verification procedures, nor any mechanisms to prohibit or block get entry to, even after the consumer explicitly broadcasts that they’re underage.  The Garante didn’t, alternatively, suggest a selected, efficient approach of age verification in its choice.     


In October 2021, the United Kingdom Data Commissioner’s Place of job (“ICO”) issued its opinion on Age Assurance for the Kids’s Code, surroundings out steerage at the effectiveness and privateness considerations related to quite a lot of age assurance strategies.  The ICO requires organizations to take a “risk-based” method to age assurance, and stresses that any processing of private information in reference to age assurance applied sciences must agree to appropriate information coverage legislation.  The ICO recommends using correctly qualified providers – for instance, suppliers authorized via the Age Take a look at Certification Scheme (“ACCS”), which tests that suppliers meet the present trade usual.  In overdue 2022, the ICO introduced that audits and investigations at the software of the Code have been in development. 

Moreover, in February 2023, the ICO revealed its steerage for the online game trade on methods to conform with the United Kingdom’s Age Suitable Design Code when creating video video games (see our earlier blogpost right here).

Having a look forward

Given the expanding focal point of regulators throughout Europe on protective youngsters on-line, we predict additional steerage and urban schemes being set as much as assist organizations examine the age of the customers in their on-line products and services.


Covington’s Information Privateness and Cybersecurity Group will proceed to watch traits.  Our group is excited to lend a hand with any inquiries in relation to age verification and kids’s privateness.

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: