The Practical and Legal Complexities of Online Age Verification

One of the most significant trends in data privacy over the past two years has been the surge in privacy laws designed to protect children from online harms, particularly at the state level. The laws take a variety of forms, from “design codes” requiring privacy by design for websites likely to be accessed by children, to social media laws that require parental consent for minors to access platforms, to adult content laws that similarly prohibit access to online adult content by children. One common hallmark among these laws is the requirement of online age verification to prohibit access by minors, which raises thorny technological, practical and legal issues. In this guest article, Ballard Spahr attorneys discuss the relevant laws, including their disparities and compliance obligations, First Amendment and privacy questions that arise from them, and the technological feasibility of certain age‑verification technologies. See “Deciphering California and U.K. Children’s Codes and Compliance Obligations” (Jun. 14, 2023).

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