The UK government announced that the age verification policy for adult content online will be implemented on 15th July 2019. Websites hosting pornographic media will need to carry out “robust” identity checks before a user is granted access to such imagery.
AgeGO, an EXOGROUP brand, is a self-service age verification solution for adult online businesses. The service enables sites to ensure that every visitor is over 18 using a range of methods.
GDI Spoke to AgeGO’s Product Manager Jorge Bravo about what this new legislation means for the online dating industry and why their product is a reliable solution for businesses.
Read the full interview below:
Could you give us a general overview of the new age verification laws and what the government’s intention has been in this area?
JB: “The overall understanding regarding the age verification law (AV) is that starting from 15th July and adult content and pornographic sites will have to age verify all users based in the UK. Basically, the government’s intention is to block under 18 users from accessing porn content easily.”
A lot of the wording in the legislation is angled at video pornogrpahic content, so how will this affect adult dating sites that potentially display nude photos?
JB: “Most of the press and media have just been focusing mainly on ‘tube’ sites, but in the case of adult sites the same law applies. If they are currently showing any nudity or any porn images, they will have to use an AV solution like AgeGO. That is in order to block the access to the content before any user is age verified.
So adult site owners have been asking me whether bikini girls can be used instead. To tell you the truth, there’s a very thin line that can be crossed at any moment. The key phrase that is being mentioned by the regulator is ‘sex arousal’. If the bikini pictures create any sex arousal then the regulator will definitely notify the site owner.“
What about adult dating or sex positive sites that don’t use that kind of imagery, are they still at risk of running into problems?
JB: “In that case the site would be totally fine and they shouldn’t be concerned at all.”
Are there any concerns in this area for some of the mainstream apps?
JB: “These apps are subject to rules on Google Play and iTunes app stores which have strict rules about nudity, so those kind of apps shouldn’t be concerned as long as they don’t show nudity on the signup and log-in pages.”
When sites are complying with this new legislation properly what will this look like? Will the AV badge be displayed on the home page?
JB: “When it comes to compliance the first thing to know is in the case of AgeGO we have four different methods. One is credit cards, the other one ID documents, such as passport or driving license, as well as checking through your mobile device, either through SMS or a minimum 3G connection.
At the moment these are our four different methods and we are currently working on another method that is going to be implemented soon.
In order for you to get a mobile contract in the UK, you need to be 18 and have a credit/debit card, so that’s pretty much the reason why we check the contract using 3G. There’s also another point; by default, all UK mobile providers block adult content [on internet data]. The user, even though they’ve signed a contract using a credit card, they need to unblock the adult content themselves.”
Are there any other points that you would like to add regarding the new laws?
Once it’s implemented, when the user lands on the page all the background gets blurred and our widget is shown on top of it. Then the user will have to choose any one of the verification methods. Once they are verified then they have the option to either create an account with us or just view the content straight away.
In a nutshell I would just say AgeGO is one of the fastest and easiest solutions to integrate on any site. It doesn’t matter about the size or volume of the site, we are going to have one of the best and most robust solutions.”
Visit the AgeGO website here.