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New age verification system to increase online protection for children

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Young people will find it harder to stumble across adult content or purchase age restricted goods online thanks to a new age verification tool that has been developed ahead of stricter digital regulations coming into play.

With the Digital Economy Act 2017 set to enforce firmer age checks for those attempting to access adult content online, AgeChecked has been developed to allow businesses to verify the age of their digital users at the point of service, similar to the way in which proof of age is required in the offline world.

The new legislation is expected to alter attitudes towards how other age restricted material is regulated online, increasing pressure on digital businesses to age-verify all users attempting to purchase or access restricted material.

With the Government taking a tougher stance on enforcing age restriction laws, some businesses are now taking the necessary steps to ensure they’re compliant.

Zoey, a leading e-commerce platform, has already joined forces with AgeChecked to enable businesses that sell age restricted products and services to integrate the age verification tool easily into their websites.

Zoey’s 500 customers, which operate across various sectors, can now access the tool via the platform’s app store and can add it directly to their e-commerce sites in just a few clicks to stay on the right side of the law. 

AgeChecked sits within the online buying process to prevent a payment or service transaction from taking place by someone under-aged.

The system provides each customer with an anonymised account that pulls information from a range of sources, such as driving licences and credit card details, to verify their age. To gain access to restricted services, users simply sign in using their AgeChecked password. Anyone falling outside the agreed age bracket will be prevented from entering a website, or part of a website, that provides age-restricted goods, services or content.

Alastair Graham, CEO of AgeChecked, said: “Protecting our children online must be of the highest priority. The laws that apply in the real world also apply in the digital world, and we mustn’t forget that. We wouldn’t allow them to buy age restricted products or services on the high street, so they shouldn’t be able to access them so easily online.

“With the Digital Economy Act coming into force as early as April 2018, online businesses need to give serious consideration as to how they are age checking their customers. A simple tick box stating that they are over 18 is just not going to cut it.

“This is why we have developed AgeChecked to give site owners a genuine, legally-compliant method of guaranteeing that those trying to access age restricted content are the correct age. The Government is cracking down on age verification – there have been changes to how knives can be bought online, and now adult content will be subject to stringent age checks – so businesses really can’t afford to ignore the law, otherwise they could be facing huge fines and other punitive measures.”

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