The News: TeleSign introduces Age Verify, a new age verification service in the U.K. designed to protect minors. Age Verify is a new digital identity signal that helps companies automatically verify the age of end-users via its API leveraging mobile identity insights. Read the full Press Release.
TeleSign Introduces Age Verify, its New Age Verification Service in the U.K. to Protect Minors
Analyst Take: TeleSign’s introduction of Age Verify, its new age verification service, is intended to help clients in the U.K. mitigate their risk from wrongly authorizing minors from buying products and services that are age restricted in nature. It may seem like a small thing, minors buying things they shouldn’t be, but it’s not. In fact, the risk can be significant, not the least of which could pose health risks to minors and can often lead to fines and penalties. The timing of TeleSign’s Age Verify is perfect since the United Kingdom recently introduced its Online Safety Bill that will legally require certain ecommerce websites to verify a user’s age, echoing similar oversight from other countries. For example, in the United States, the FDA also has expectations that retailers provide age verification for certain products and services that minors are not supposed to consume.
Why Age Verify Is Important: Younger Generations [always] Want What They’re Not Supposed to Have
This is not a new problem. Younger generations have always — and probably will always —seek ways of gaining access to products and services that are typically not met for them. That’s what young people do — want to grow up sometimes more quickly than we might want them to. But the internet age has ushered in a new set of variables that bring concerns along with them — and increased risks for organizations along the way. With the explosion of electronic commerce coupled with social media adoption, it has become increasingly difficult for companies to marshal all activity, which has put minors even at more risk for buying products that are illegal, inappropriate for minors, and/or potentially harmful to their health. For example, minors have been buying electronic cigarettes, alcohol, consuming adult content, gambling (and gaming) online and participating in social networks, which can also lead to sexual trafficking and/or abuse of minors. These are very real, very big dangers.
Solutions Like TeleSign’s Age Verify Can Help Avert the Fines or Potential Criminal Liability
Wrapping it up, it would behoove internet retailers in the United Kingdom to take a look at solutions like TeleSign’s Age Verify API and explore whether these kinds of solutions are a fit for them. If your organization sells products or services not meant for minors, it could be a big step toward risk mitigation and a solid move toward keeping young people safe.
Don’t think you need to be concerned? If you’re located in or doing business in the U.K., there are risks in taking your chances. The government can impose fines in the amount of 10% of a company’s global earnings and can also be held criminally liable or being banned from selling to anyone in the United Kingdom.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.
Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of Futurum Research as a whole.
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Image Credit: TeleSign
Michael Diamond is an industry analyst and foresight professional with 25 years of experience in the IT channel and market research industry. He is a route-to-market expert covering desktop and mobile devices, collaboration, contact center, ProAV, data center infrastructure, and cybersecurity. Prior to joining Futurum Research, Michael worked for The NPD Group as the sole industry analyst covering indirect channels, cybersecurity, SMB and vertical market trends, data center infrastructure (e.g., enterprise storage, servers, networking), ProAV and PCs. He has been quoted by media outlets such as Bloomberg, Kiplinger, TWICE, OPI (Office Products International), Apple World today, Dark Reading, Enterprise Storage Forum, Credit-Suisse, Footwear News, CRN (Computer Reseller News), Channel Futures and Into Tomorrow. Michael has presented at myriad events including The Channel Company’s Xchange, The Global Technology Distribution Council’s summit, SMB TechFest and more.