Vendo Preps for Age Verification Mandate

Vendo Preps for Age Verification Mandate
Stephen Yagielowicz

LOS ANGELES — As the continuing push for mandatory online age verification moves forward, a wide range of companies are preparing for this eventuality and its impact on the digital media ecosystem.

In a recent post on the company’s blog, entitled, “The Digital Economy Act And You,” Vendo outlined the importance of pending legislation in the U.K. and beyond for its clients, as well as for the industry as a whole.

While the details of the U.K.’s legislation are still being hammered out, Vendo says the Digital Economy Act “presents a unique problem for anyone with a global audience for their content,” and points to two primary paths the U.K. could take: creating a comprehensive, publically accessible national ID database or requiring credit card usage as a means of age verification.

“This is such a stupid idea that I can’t believe it’s even being discussed,” the Vendo blog notes of the ID database proposal. “The privacy issues are myriad. The potential for hacking and blackmail are obvious. It’s just a dumb idea.”

The company also calls a proposal requiring website owners to check credit card numbers before providing users with any age restricted service or product “far from a perfect solution.”

“The adult industry has a very dark history of requesting a credit card number as age verification for ‘free’ content and then maxing out people’s credit cards. But the idea looks positively spiffing compared to Option 1,” Vendo explains. “The government doesn’t need to do any real work. They can just hold a press conference, tell everyone that they’ve protected the children, and chalk it up as a win.”

As for what the company is doing about it, in preparation for the first option, it is exploring the creation of “blockchain records of the ID verification as a way to protect personal data and prove that verification took place.”

“I don’t think that anyone has ever gone broke betting on politicians to take the easy solution that gives them a chance for a good photo op,” the Vendo blog concluded.

Stay tuned to XBIZ for more as we monitor this vital legal issue.

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