The European Union has in many ways been a pioneer in introducing various steps to make the internet a safer place for children. This includes legal measures adopted to protect minors online, such as the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive (‘AVMSD’) and the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’). In spite of such legislative initiatives, age verification as an effective tool to implement the law remains more or less in a state of infancy, both across the EU and the wider world. It is clear that there is a need for appropriate age verification solutions to be in place so that the current legal requirements can be meaningfully implemented in practice. In order to inform such a technical solution, it is necessary to first of all examine the relevant laws of each Member State in order to gain a broader understanding of age verification requirements within the EU. This report aims to address this by presenting a rapid overview of the existing mandatory age verification requirements implemented in the European Union and the United Kingdom, which, in turn, would help guide relevant stakeholders and product developers to design necessary tools in order to ensure compliance with the relevant national laws.
For the purpose of the study, the laws have been grouped into three broad categories as they apply to: (i) online content as envisaged in the AVMSD for protecting minors; (ii) online services focusing on online gambling; and (iii) the online sale of age-restricted goods with a focus on tobacco and alcohol.
Read more in the report.