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Age verification in the UK: Announcement and update of digital ID initiatives
Mobiles

Age verification in the UK: Announcement and update of digital ID initiatives

The Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) in the UK is calling for the building of new technologies to make it easier for people to establish their age using their smartphones.

PASS supports several plastic age identification cards, which are used across the country as valid forms of proof of age to purchase alcohol and other age-restricted goods and services.

The Age Verification Providers Association (AVPA) states that the UK government is considering approving a digital version of these cards, but security measures must be strong before approval.

“The industry is aware that until we are able to facilitate digital proof of age on a convenient platform for consumers, which means they must be able to use any approved app anywhere, anytime, then most people shall not have the confidence to rely on their phone to replace their old ID," stated AVPA Executive Director Iain Corby.

For context, PASS has already approved such a technical standard for digital age verification and is waiting for the industry to find a solution to ensure such cards are accepted universally.

“The PASS Scheme needs to move with the times,” says Baroness McIntosh of Pickering, chair of the PASS Board.

“Young people no longer need keys or cash when they go out, just their phones, and we want to move with the times and allow them to carry physical identification without having to carry keys or cash.”

Several supermarkets have extended the trials of artificial intelligence-powered self-checkout cameras to check the age of customers. These include Aldi, Asda, the Co-op, and Morrisons. Yoti's digital ID verification technology will be used by these supermarket chains until the end of June.

Some UK cinemas have also begun to use age verification technology to stop minors from watching sex- and violence-themed movies, thanks to a technology provided by Yoti, a digital ID company.

You and the UK Cinema Association have partnered in order to share this feature with young people. Users will now be able to prove their age by downloading the Yoti app (or the EasyID app from Yoti's partner the Post Office) on their phones.

After that, they will be asked to take a photo of their ID, which will generate a digital ID within the app, which they will need to show upon entering cinemas.

“As many of the film-goers who want to enter a '15' or even '18' certificate film are unaware of their age, it can be extremely difficult - and understandable - when they are turned away from the cinema," explains UK Cinema Association CEO Phil Clapp.

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