The Internet has changed the world we see around us. A decade ago and there was no concept of online buying or carrying out online transactions. 2019 and here we are in the digital era of global information sharing. Where practically anything can be purchased online and connect two points of information in seconds!
Since the rise of the global internet user base and multi-device adoptions. More people are accessing the internet than ever. Following the same pattern, more businesses are adopting the potential of the internet and going digital.
But, what if some of those items or products being sold carry an age-restriction? For that matter, the business itself is for only mature or individuals of legal age.
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These are questions being raised by people like you and me and many concerned parents around the world. Accounting to public pressure and recent media outcry, businesses are faced to implement stricter measures to better address their moral responsibility towards their loyal and new customers.
The solution? Age Verification. As simple as it may sound, the developing issues regarding access of age-restricted material to minors has had media coverage in a recent speech by the Queen!
The social stigma around businesses luring in youngsters to potentially compromising platforms has businesses come under fire for their apparent carefree approach.
Companies like Tinder announced of upping their age requirements for user registrations. After coming under public pressure with unsatisfactory age requirements previously. Another corporate giant – Amazon saw criticism when a 16 year was convicted of fatally stabbing a schoolboy. Reportedly, the attacker had bought the knife from Amazon. Apparently, no age checks were conducted prior to purchase or post delivery of the item.
Both these companies came under the limelight, all for the wrong reasons. Which led them down the path of public displeasure and reputational losses in the masses.
All this has led to the Government intensifying their watch on all who are inadequately protecting minors or specifically underage individuals in respect to business type. This means, not just being 18 is the requirement, but also being of suitable age to be a part of a respective platform; which may require being 18 or older.
Businesses now require regular review of there measures in place to protect underage access and ensure its effectiveness. Due to this reason, the development of age-relevant regulations has come up that all sorts of businesses have to comply to if they deal in an age-sensitive business and or use case.
Failure to comply with such regulations could lead to serious repercussions for businesses and jeopardize their operations. These include imprisonment and an unlimited fine.
In the end, a careful blend of improved parental practices alongside a reimagination of age-sensitive and potentially exploitable loopholes need to be considered. Both sides of the table need to come together and accept responsibility, where corporates need to seriously employ dedicated age verification measures and improve best practices that minimize the likelihood of underage access to their businesses and platforms. Whether that be gambling, adult entertainment, financial services, and e-commerce. Online businesses need to intensive age checks at different levels instead of dodging from their responsibilities by shifting it on parents.