The Age Appropriate Design Code.
What is the Age Appropriate Design Code (Children’s code)?
The Age Appropriate Design Code (AADC), sets out 15 standards for online services that process personal data and are likely to be accessed by children in the UK. Standard 3 of the AADC which focuses specifically on ‘Age appropriate application’ states that companies need to take a ‘risk-based approach to recognising the age of individual users and effectively’.
In order to comply with the AADC you will need to:
- Consider if any of your content or services could risk the moral, physical or mental well-being of children under 18
- If so, put in place proportional age verification measures to safeguard them
Move to the left and right.
When did the Age Appropriate Design Code come into force?
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) began enforcing the Children’s code on the 2 September 2021. Businesses that fail to implement the AADC are effectively in breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) and the UK GDPR. For serious breaches, the ICO has the power to issue steep financial penalties, which include:
- Fines of up to €20 million (or £17.5 million when the UK GDPR comes into effect)
- Or 4% of annual worldwide turnover, whichever is higher
This code seeks to protect children within the digital world, not protect them from it.”
Elizabeth Denham CBE,
Official partnership with the ACCS.
The Age Check Certification Scheme is a UKAS accredited Conformity Assessment Body & nonprofit providing independent certification services to businesses who need to check ID or ages of their customers.
It is the only approved certification scheme for the Age Appropriate Design Code under Article 42 of UK GDPR by the Information Commissioner.
The AADC presents 3 age assurance problems. To address these problems, we've segmented them into the following:
The easiest to solve - we've performed millions of age verifications for some of the biggest brands so this is business as usual for us.
Easy to solve using our existing technology and expanding our age assurance eco-system with additional AI partners.
Inaccurate AI due to the lack of ground-truth (biometric data accompanied by authenticated identity documentation to verify age) data, and minors not being of legal age to consent to their data being processed.
Age Assurance Methods.
Training AI in the real world with real data.
VerifyMyAge is developing a solution that enables a child under 13 to verify the age returned to them as part of the age estimation process.
Proof of age.
The solution requires the child to provide an authenticated identity document (passport) to verify their age.
Once they have provided this information they are asked to create an account which requires parental consent.
As part of the parental consent flow the parent is asked for permission to share their child’s biometric data + birth MM/YY to assist in the training of our partners AI e.g Facetec.
Our ICO compliant age assurance solution
Our solution aligns with the age and developmental categories introduced by the ICO. We are also certified by ACCS as being PAS1296 compliant, as per the Code of Practice for Online Age Verification Service Providers in the UK. We are also on the UK government's Directory of UK Safety Tech Providers.
VerifyMyAge is designed to be as efficient and seamless as possible. To minimise friction and ensure positive customer experiences, where possible, we attempt to authenticate/estimate a customers age in 'stealth’ using the PII provided by you, via data partners.
We strive to provide an exhaustive choice of available age verification and estimation methods and data-sets. A combination of research and our own data shows this leads to a higher rate of; successful age verifications and customer satisfaction. This is why 99.8% of our verifications are approved.
Parental consent with VerifyMyAge.
Our age estimation methods can be used to help children safely access content online with a parent or guardians consent.
When a child attempts to access your services, they will be asked to provide contact details for a parent or guardian. The parent or guardian will be asked to verify their age and give consent for their child to access your content.
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