FTC Denies Approval for Biometric Age Estimation Tool

FTC Denies Approval for Biometric Age Estimation Tool

WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has denied approval to three age verification companies that were seeking to implement a biometric solution to meet Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requirements.

The four FTC commissioners voted unanimously to reject the application jointly submitted last June by Yoti, the Entertainment Software Rating Board and SuperAwesome. 

The companies’ “Privacy-Protective Facial Age Estimation” system would “analyze the geometry of a user’s face to confirm the person is an adult and can access certain content,” tech law news site NextGov reported.

“The FTC confirmed that 354 comments raised concerns with the software’s data collection and storage capabilities, particularly in regards to generating deepfake content, along with other privacy violations.”

Yoti also submitted the same biometric model to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); that evaluation and report are forthcoming.

The FTC left open the possibility of revisiting the technology and the rejected application, stating that it expects that the NIST report “will materially assist the Commission, and the public, in better understanding age verification technologies.” 

Evan Greer, of digital rights group Fight for the Future, called the rejection of the AV companies’ application “another great move from the FTC.”

“A world where you get your face scanned to access a website is not a safer world,” Greer posted on X.com. “There is no ‘privacy protective’ way to scan people’s faces in order to estimate their age.”

A Yoti rep told XBIZ the company is disappointed that the FTC declined to either issue a substantive decision or delay further ruling on the application.

"The ESRB, Yoti, and Kids Web Services filed the application in June 2023, and the commission twice extended its decision on the application beyond the 120-day period set forth in the COPPA rule," the rep explained. "The commission’s letter indicates that it believes it would be helpful to be able to review, as part of its decision-making process, a report about facial age estimation models that is anticipated to be released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in April. Unfortunately, instead of accommodating our request to stay its decision for another 90 days to give the commission sufficient time for consideration of the NIST report, the FTC declined the application without prejudice."

In light of the FTC’s recent statements welcoming innovation in verifiable parental consent (VPC) methods, the rep added, Yoti "remains hopeful that facial age estimation and other innovative technologies will be considered COPPA-compliant when used to obtain verifiable parental consent in the near future."

Copyright © 2024 Adnet Media. All Rights Reserved. XBIZ is a trademark of Adnet Media.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited.

More News

Phoenix Marie Sues Aylo, Danny D Over Incident on Digital Playground Set

Phoenix Marie has filed a lawsuit against Aylo, performer/producer Danny D and other defendants, alleging she has suffered defamation and damage to her career over a 2023 incident on a Digital Playground set in Spain.

New Premium Creator Platform 'Lemon Social' Launches

Premium creator platform Lemon Social has debuted.

Atlanta Authorities Renew Attack on Adult Boutique Tokyo Valentino

The saga of beleaguered Georgia adult boutique Tokyo Valentino continues with a renewed attempt by authorities to shut down another of its locations.

MomPOV Producer Pleads Guilty in GirlsDoPorn Case

MomPOV producer Doug Wiederhold, who was formerly the partner of GirlsDoPorn owner Michael Pratt as well as the first male talent for GDP, pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal conspiracy charge.

Streamate Exec Liz Rek Joins FSC Board

The Free Speech Coalition board of directors has tapped Streamate executive Liz Rek as its newest member, effective immediately.

2024 XBIZ Creator Awards Nominees Announced; Voting Now Live

XBIZ is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2024 XBIZ Creator Awards, presented by Fansly.

Adult Site Broker Talk's Bruce Friedman Reflects on Podcast Success

The 200th episode of “Adult Site Broker Talk” will air next week, with 2023 XBIZ Performer of the Year Cherie DeVille as the featured guest.

FSC Asks Supreme Court to Overturn 5th Circuit Decision, Strike Texas' Age Verification Law

Free Speech Coalition (FSC) filed a petition for certiorari on Friday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Fifth Circuit panel decision that partially upheld Texas’ controversial age verification law.

Details Emerge About Capture, Arrest of GirlsDoPorn's Michael Pratt

Further details have emerged in the past week about the capture and arrest of GirlsDoPorn owner Michael Pratt in Spain in December 2022, following his extradition to the U.S. last month.

Magdalene St. Michaels, Andy Rodrigues Named as AEBN Top Stars for Q1 of 2024

AEBN has announced its top-selling stars for the first quarter of 2024, with Magdalene St. Michaels landing atop the leader board for straight theaters and Andy Rodrigues heading up the gay rankings.

Show More