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AVPA Newsletter July 4 2022


  • Volunteer to input to the AVPA - MEF joint white paper on AV
  • Volunteer to sit on the selection committee for the PASS interoperablity solution


Identity Week USA and first physical US AVPA meeting.

We have also been offered a free exhibition stand by the organisers of Identity Week USA in Washington DC, on October 4-5th.  Any members attending are welcome to use our stand as a base,

We will also host our first in-person meeting in the USA at this event which will hopefully include a number of members who are already attending this event in any case.

GLOBAL: Mobile Ecosystem Forum white paper

As mentioned in the last newsletter, we have joined forces with MEF to create a white paper and are jointly issuing this Call for Insights & White Paper Contributors: "Is it rude to ask your age? Actually no. It is a legal requirement."

Get ready; new and evolving personal data and identity management methods are causing a tsunami of change. In particular, two crucial areas driving change are the proper administration of the sale of age-restricted products and services, and what businesses must do to responsibly and securely interact with children and other age-protected classes.

Do you have a view on how personal data and digital identity will evolve over the next 18-36 months, especially regarding age verification and age assurance? If you are working with and have insights into age verification and age assurance, we want to hear from you (message us on LinkedIn: Michael Becker and Iain Corby).

The Age Verification Providers Association (AVPA) and Mobile Ecosystem Forum’s Personal Data & Identity (PD&I) Working Group proposition is that age will be at the vanguard for digital identities execution and adoption.  The ability for businesses to prove the age of their customers, without their customers having to disclose their entire identity and complete age details, is going to be a ubiquitous business requirement for phygital commerce and online services.

A Call for Age Verification and Assurance Insights & White Paper Contributors
The MEF PD&I Working Group, in partnership with the AVPA, is drafting a white paper, tentatively titled “Is it rude to ask your age? Actually no. It is a legal requirement.” This landscape is being dramatically changed by new regulations, technology, business models, and growing consumer awareness around personal data & identity.


US: New AV Law in Louisiana 

US state of Louisiana has passed a law which provides civil remedies for parents of minors exposed to online pornography or other explicit material if websites do not have reasonable verification procedures in place.  It specifically targets content online that could be harmful to them, such as pornography and is the first such state law in the U.S.  The bill doesn’t force the companies to make the verification system but it does allow Louisianans to sue the companies for not having it.  The law does not affect sites like Twitter or Netflix but rather commercial entities such as major porn sites that have over one third of their content being harmful to kids. (VPN required from Europe)
The Bill is due to come into force at the start of 2023 but may face constitutional challenges:
B.(1) Any commercial entity that knowingly and intentionally publishes or distributes material harmful to minors on the internet from a website that contains a substantial portion of such material shall be held liable if the entity fails to perform reasonable age verification methods to verify the age of individuals attempting to access the material.
(2) Any commercial entity or third party that performs the required age verification shall not retain any identifying information of the individual after access has been granted to the material.
(3)(a) Any commercial entity that is found to have violated this Section shall be liable to an individual for damages resulting from a minor's accessing the material, including court costs and reasonable attorney fees as ordered by the court.
(b) A commercial entity that is found to have knowingly retained identifying information of the individual after access has been granted to the individual shall be liable to the individual for damages resulting from retaining the identifying information, including court costs and reasonable attorney fees as ordered by the court
(8) "Reasonable age verification methods" include verifying that the person seeking to access the material is eighteen years of age or older by using any of the following methods:
(a) Provide a digitized identification card as defined in R.S. 51:3211.
(b) Require the person attempting to access the material to comply with a 18 commercial age verification system that verifies in one or more of the following ways:
(i) Government-issued identification.
(ii) Any commercially reasonable method that relies on public or private transactional data to verify the age of the person attempting to access the information is at least eighteen years of age or older

Ireland: Justice Plan 2022 

In a plan announced in March 2022, the Minster for Justice spoke at the launch last week about how she intends to create a zero tolerance for domestic and gender based abuse, which includes restricting children's and young people's access to porn websites.  

"The Minister for Justice is seeking to restrict children and young people’s access to porn websites as part of a “landmark” strategy to tackle domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.
Helen McEntee said pornography websites have changed the way younger people view sexual relationships, adding it is something the Government must deal with.
Ms McEntee said that while she cannot block every porn site, ministers will work with children and parents through an education and public information campaign to raise awareness of the harm of pornography.
She said pornography and the sex trade fuel misogyny and violence against women and undermine gender equality."

You can read the news article here and the full plan here

US: Californian Age Appropriate Design Code Update 

The California Age Appropriate Design Code Bill AB2273 passed its next stage in the Senate where the Judiciary Committee supported it 9 votes to 1. 
It now progresses to the Appropriations Committee. Watch it here


PASS - intereroperability review committee

We in fact received 7 proposals by last Friday's deadline. 

Bids have been received from:
  • Fujitsu
  • Idoniq (Nick Mothershaw)
  • Indicio ( a partner of Liquid Avatar)
  • MBJ Technology (VerifiID) / GBG / UK Datastreams
  • Privately
  • TruAge / Digital Bazaar / National Association of Convenience Stores 
  • W2 / nCHAIN
We have agreed with PASS that after the first review will be by our respective leadership teams, we will convene a sub-committee of PASSCO members and AVPA members to review the proposals in detail.  They will meet to see if a consensus emerges as to which is the preferred technology, and possibly select a shortlist of bidders who can then present to the group and field questions.

If you would like to sit on the sub-committee, this is the final call for volunteers - we are looking for both technical and business input during July,  Obviously those with a conflict of interest as a bidder or with an interest in a bidder are asked not to participate at this point, but we will put the preferred bidder's proposal out for a final consultation to all Members.

euCONSENT - next steps for interoperability

We attended a Forum Europe conference in Brussels last week and had the opportunity to ask a question of the key sponsor of euCONSENT from the Commission - June Lowery-Kingston. You can hear her very positive answer here and watch the whole conference here

As an Association, we need to consider now how we should take the project forward, if at all.  We must assume there is no public funding, so the alternatives emerging are either to run it as a non-profit entity and perhaps secure donations from Big Tech (Meta, Google etc.) towards the central costs, or to develop the concept amongst a "coalition of the willing" -  AV Providers committed to turn this proof of concept into an operational reality.

We began down the road to interoperability because we recognised that without it, the user experience for AV was going to be too inconvenient to sustain independent providers - big tech or government would inevitably step in.  That remains the risk today, and it is our judgment that making interoperability work is an existential objective, and an urgent one.

We will debate this further on Thursday, and aim to create a sub-group of those who would wish to be part of a future interoperability arrangement, however it is structured, funded or built, to progress this further.

Meta Child Protection Forum

We were pleased to be invited to attend this, with AVPA members ACCS, Privately and VerifyMyAge also present.  The first half of the meeting was focused on Meta and other large tech companies such as Google and Zoom raising concerns about Commission proposals to combat CSAM when the current temporary measures end next year.
There was then a very good session on Age Assurance, and a strong sense that all the Big Tech in the room were keen to work with the AV sector - propelled not least by Yoti's news of their work with Instagram.

UK trust framework

We spoke last week to Alison McDowell from DCMS about prospects for Schemes under the Trust Framework.  She explained they are on ice because no-one could agree a common definition, in spite of asking OiX to assist.
We explained the challenge for Age Verification providers is that the full requirements for the Framework are both a sledgehammer to crack a nut, and also not fit for purpose particularly when age estimation techniques are used.  She was sympathetic and invited an alternative proposal.
One route might be to look at the certification requirements for ID Providers and suggest a slimmed down version for ID providers.


Invoices for second half of 2022

As mentioned previously, we've now invoiced members for the 6 months from July-December 2022 - issuing, paying and chasing quarterly invoices was burdonsome for all concerned.  If you prefer to pay in two instalments nevertheless, feel free to do so.


This will be part of September's monthly meeting.  The positions of Treasurer and up to 3 members of the Executiive Committee will be up for election.  Rudd Apsey from VeriMe has offered to continue as Treasurer but is happy for someone else to take on the position if they wish to do so.  Formal nominations will be invited at the start of September.

AVPA North America Meet-up

We will host this on October 4-5th at the Identity Week USA conference in Washington DC - details to follow but if you intend to be there for only one of these two days, please let Iain know so we can time the event to suit as many diaries as possible. 


4 July - AVPA presents to the Privacy Laws & Business Conference, Cambridge
7 July - AVPA Members Meeting, ONLINE ONLY
19 July - Expert Panel Age Restrictions
22-25 August - TES Affiliates, Prague
31 August - euCONSENT Phase 1 pilot project ends

22 September - AVPA Members Meeting and AGM - Clapham and Online
29 September - OiX Conference
4-5 October - Identity Week USA and AVPA meet-up, Washington DC
18 October - UK Expert Panel Age Restrictions Conference
14 November - FOSI conference, Washington DC
16/17 November - IAPP Conference Brussels



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