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New Trade Body Launches, Representing High Quality, Privacy-Preserving Online Age Verification Providers in North America

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Los Angeles, CA, April 28, 2022 – A new trade association has been launched to represent the rapidly growing US and Canadian online age verification industry.

The Age Verification Providers Association (AVPA) is creating a US division, in response to the rapidly growing demand across North America for technology that delivers rigorous digital age checks. Whether it is to create social media accounts on well-known platforms such as Meta, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram or Reddit; to buy age-restricted goods, such as alcohol, vaping products or even marijuana; to access online gambling, as it is rapidly legalized by individual states; or to help websites comply with child safety laws such as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), demand for online age verification which goes beyond simply asking a user to check a box or input their date of birth, is soaring.

“The internet is global, and the desire to offer children additional protections from harm is increasingly reflected in new laws and regulations being passed around the world. The US in many ways led the charge with its COPPA legislation affecting online services directed at children under 13, and is now adopting more expansive requirements that will affect most websites which process data or sell age-restricted good and services.”
Alastair Graham
Association Co-Chair

In February, US Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) introduced a new bi-partisan bill, the Kids Online Safety Act, designed to require social media platforms to introduce new safeguards for minors online to protect them from unsuitable content and contacts. 2022 also saw the publication of the California Age Appropriate Design Code Bill, focusing on the safe use of children’s data. Wherever laws require children to be treated differently from adults online, robust age verification is going to be required.

The European equivalent of this trade group has been operating since 2018 and already has 20 members.  Inaugural North American-based members include Aristotle International Inc’s Integrity Division (Washington, DC), AU10TIX (New York, NY), BlueCheck (Austin, TX), FaceTec, Inc. (Las Vegas, NV), Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc. (Toronto, ON), PRIVO (Privacy Vaults Online, Inc.- Dumfries, VA) and UK-based Yoti’s US and Canadian divisions.

“Online Age Verification is already a global industry, but most of the legislative pressure has come from Europe. This is clearly changing, and we want to share the lessons learnt with our colleagues across the Atlantic, while also ensuring that the international standards we champion as a trade association properly reflect the needs of the North American market.”
Warren Russell
Fellow Co-Chair

These represent all sizes of enterprise, from start-ups to divisions of much larger listed corporations, based across the US and Canada. Some provide services direct to the consumer, while others focus on B2B support, supplying the rapidly-evolving technology and data required to drive this rapidly expanding industry.

The new association will raise the profile of online age assurance with state and federal lawmakers, regulators, leading online platforms and all those who run websites and apps which process children’s data or may include content that is inappropriate for certain younger age groups. 

“The essence of age verification is proving your age online without having to disclose your full identity. With leading US analysts identifying age verification as one of the main drivers for the wider digital identity market, which is estimated to grow to $1 trillion by 2029, we aim to facilitate the technical standards that will define a privacy-preserving yet ubiquitous mechanism for providing online age checks within the wider ID industry, championing an open and competitive market that drives innovation and convenience for consumers.”
Iain Corby
Executive Director

The AVPA is developing a new standard for the best practices in online age verification with the IEEE, and an international framework for the industry with the ISO. In Europe, the Association is a key member of the www.euCONSENT.eu project, funded by the European Commission, to deploy a network to deliver interoperability across age verification providers, which it intends to extend to the US market in 2023.

Notes for Editors

  • Age verification checks can be completed using passports, driver licences, online banking, through credit reference agencies or your mobile phone account; innovative new technology can estimate your age from a selfie using artificial intelligence, with the image immediately deleted.
  • BSI PAS 1296 is the only current standard for online age checking. The IEEE and ISO are also developing standards that will apply globally.
  • User’s privacy can be guaranteed whenever required by a double-blind approach where the websites never know the identity of the user, and the AV provider does not record which sites have checked a user’s age.

About the Age Verification Providers Association

The Age Verification Providers Association represents all the main technology suppliers who have invested in the development of age verification and estimation solutions to support the implementation of age restrictions online.

About the AVPA

As an association, we work to:

  • Inform and educate the public, industry, and media, on age verification solutions and technology.
  • Promote a positive image of effective age verification and the age verification industry.
  • Represent the industry to regulators and law makers for the advancement of best practice, socially responsible age verification policy.

The AVPA was formed in 2018 from organizations involved in the UK’s Digital Policy Alliance age verification working group and now includes members from North America, Australia and across Europe.

The AVPA was created and in response to a need for a uniform voice for of the industry and is governed by a representative Board drawn from its member organizations.

The AVPA is governed by a representative Board drawn from its member organizations.

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