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An age verification system (also called an adult verification system or AVS) is technology used by a website to confirm that a user attempting to access their website is of the age required (usually by law) to view the website's content, which could include sex, nudity, violence or profanity. The system is used to legally protect companies from punishment under laws against the dissemination of pornography to a minor. These systems often use a credit card. The adult verification system is usually provided by a third-party company that can provide adult verification for multiple websites.
There are four basic types of technology used for age verification:
- Comparison against records collected from public databases.
- Comparison against records collected by schools or other public entities.
- Peer-based verification, which allows peers in a community to vote, recommend, or rate whether a person is in an appropriate age group based on relationships and personal knowledge established offline.
How it works Edit
The "typical" age verification service provides the user with a special code number. Adult websites contract with the service (of which many exist). A user wishing access to one of these adult websites enters the code number. The adult website then contacts the AVS to confirm that the number is valid, and if it is, grants the user access. (The adult website usually pays the AVS a commission for users who are verified in this manner.)
Privacy concerns Edit
Several courts have expressed their concerns about age verification violating individual privacy rights. “Requiring users to go through an age verification process would lead to a distinct loss of personal privacy.”
- ↑ See ACLU v. Mukasey, 534 F.3d 181, 196 (3d Cir. 2008) (full-text) (citing ACLU v. Gonzales, 478 F.Supp.2d 775, 806 (E.D. Pa. 2007) (full-text)).