There’s a better way to verify age than asking 70s trivia
And it is not “Yes, I am over 18”!
That phrase is the age-old lie that almost every kid growing up remembers telling. Kids have been lying about their age to access age-restricted products, services, establishments, or simply just to appear older and more mature since the advent of age restriction. In the internet age, without any real means of verifying a person’s age, some age-restricted websites have been forced to settle for an honor-based system for age verification. Requiring customers to enter their date of birth is little better than clicking an “I am over 18” button.
With an increased focus on teenage consumption of adult products and services, regulation is tightening and effective age verification is more important than ever.
Protecting the wellbeing of minors is an important priority for most countries as well as for responsible businesses. Effective age verification is the only way to protect underaged individuals when it comes to limiting access to certain content, products, or services. Whether you’re a company that sells alcohol, makes vape pens, or produces adult-themed video games or content, you want to ensure that your product isn’t negatively affecting children. But how do you identify someone’s age in a foolproof way?
Many companies have had different takes on this matter, some with varying levels of success. Credit card verification has been a popular one, especially for websites featuring adult videos. However, this often fails because it assumes that most people who have credit cards are adults. While this used to be the case, credit card companies have begun issuing cards to minors, making this an ineffective form of age verification. It also doesn’t prevent a minor from using their parent’s credit card information to bypass the system. When it comes to a persistent kid, you need more than a token age verification system to stand in the way of them and what they want!
Other platforms have attempted to use knowledge-based age verification, such as the adult-oriented video game franchise “Leisure Suit Larry”. A racy video game about a grown man attempting to lose his virginity, “Leisure Suit Larry” would ask the player a series of trivia questions that only adults would know the answers to. Franchise creator Al Lowe assumed that children wouldn’t know the answer to questions such as:
Johnny Carson is:
- A singer
- David Letterman’s sidekick
- Ed McMahon’s sidekick
- An actor
While this may have indeed succeeded in keeping out some of the less trivia savvy minors when the game was released in 1987, it was far from a foolproof system. (The answer, by the way, is C. The game may or may not succeed in keeping out some contemporary adults as well).
Even physical stores are finding it difficult to keep adult products out of the hands of minors. At least half of the 516 million packs of cigarettes per year consumed by minors are illegally sold to them. Fooling the system with fake IDs is commonplace, and businesses want and need a way of preventing minors from acquiring products that could harm them.
The Growing Need For Age Verification (Verify Age)
Changing consumer behaviors and the rise of teenage consumers is putting growing pressure on businesses to assure that only adults can access adult content, services, and products. There has also been a sharp increase in legislative requirements for age-restricted products and services. In 2017, the United Kingdom passed a law containing a legal mandate on the provision of age verification. The Digital Economy Act of 2017 requires websites that publish commercial pornography to implement a “robust” age verification system.
Across different channels and industries there is a growing need for age verification technologies that are both successful and create an optimal experience for the customers. While robust manual age verification will keep out the few minors who try to illegally access adult content, it can also be a headache for adults looking to access this content legally. An arduous verification process, especially one that introduces a significant delay and added complexity to any onboarding or purchase process is a turn off for any customer.
Customers may also be reluctant to provide scores of their personal information to multiple online websites for fear of data breaches or other privacy concerns. For businesses that not only are socially responsible but also care about their brand image and happy, returning customers, a seamless form of age verification is a must and it needs to be provided by a provider that values customer privacy above corporate profits.
Authenteq’s Identity Verification Saves The Day
Although there may not be a “one-size-fits-all” age verification model, Authenteq’s real-time age verification is the closest thing. By using government-grade facial recognition technology to compare the user’s identity document with a selfie taken in real-time, Authenteq can provide full age verification.
Moreover, Authenteq guarantees age verification in less than 60 seconds, providing businesses with a quick and easy way to verify their customer’s age without putting customers through an arduous process. This helps businesses keep customers happy while meeting compliance requirements and keeping minors safely away. And, unlike the honor-based system of old, Authenteq’s Age Verification technology actually works.
Instead of settling for flawed age verification methods that leave your business at risk of noncompliance with the law and damaging your brand’s reputation, use Authenteq’s real-time Identity Verification technology. It’ll be much easier relying on our technology than it will be on your customer’s knowledge of trivia from the 1970s!
Below are three more age verification questions from Leisure Suit Larry… could you answer them?
Spiro Agnew is
- A form of social disease.
- A jazz-fusion rock band.
- A former Vice President.
- The first woman in Congress.
Ronald Reagan’s co-star in “Bedtime for Bonzo” was
- A monkey.
- Peter O’Toole.
- Bonzo the Clown
- Marilyn Monroe.
If you arrived at a party wearing your birthday suit, you would
- Make many new friends.
- Be thrown out.
- Fit right in.
- It depends on the party.