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The purpose of this background report wss to give an overview of practices and solutions in EU Member States on Cross Media Rating and Classification and Age Verification Solutions. The report is based on desk top research and input from stakeholders to the online consultation launched by the European Commission in preparation of the Safer Internet Forum 2008 and the presentations and the debate at the Forum itself. As such, it does not set out to give a complete overview of all Member State policies and practices related to Cross Media Rating and Age Verification Solutions.
This report is organized in two parts. The first part gives an overview of Rating and Classification practices. The second part looks at Age Verification Solutions. These issues are, however, linked. Age Verification Solutions take as a conceptual starting point that there are already rules outlining the type of content and services that are suitable to specific age groups. If the suitability of content and services were not linked to specific age groups, Age Verification Solutions would not exist in their current form. Media Rating has traditionally focused on audiovisual content. Age Verification Solutions are also discussed in relationship to social networking sites, and in connection with eCommerce solutions for the sale of certain products, such as alcohol and pills, which are usually age restricted.