Once Wide Open, Internet Being Fenced With Age Checks

By Jim Nash

Moved by a moral context, politically conservative U.S. states are lining up to pass age-verification laws designed to keep children from accessing internet pornography.

Texas is the seventh and latest state to do so. Louisiana was the first state, in January, to require proof of age by uploading an image of the person’s government-issued license.

Free Speech Coalition, an association promoting the interests of what it describes as the adult industry, divides verification laws and bills into two categories – a clone of Louisiana’s legislation and all the others. It considers Texas a mirror of Louisiana’s.

As of February, 29 pieces of legislation were in some state of debate. Some states, like Texas, were considering multiple age verification laws.

Most have failed but several were introduced this year and are moving through the process. Seven of the 29 allow state residents to sue publishers directly for perceived violation of a law banning child access to a site that has at least 33 percent “sexual material” content.

Algorithm vendors continue to circle this trend. A deep-learning and precision biometric identification firm in Lithuania, for example, just released an update of its face-verification and liveness software.

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The company, Neurotechnology, is pushing its Face Verification 13.1 software development kit and web service. The software provides face capture, authentication, and liveness detection, and also adds age estimation.

Growth in the industry goes deeper. Identification verifier Veriff has outsourced more of its IT infrastructure to Amazon’s Web Services. Details of the contract were not released other than the company will use the new muscle on development of its products, which now include age estimation.

Source: Biometric Update

Jim Nash is a business journalist. His byline has appeared in The New York Times, Investors Business Daily, Robotics Business Review and other publications. You can find Jim on LinkedIn.

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