Gabriel Luke
Gabriel Luke 19 December 2019

Consent Verification - A Digital Age Of Consent

Traditional consent checks are providing an opportunity for children to gain unauthorised access to online platforms. Digital consent verification is all set to cover these limitations.

Gone are the days when we used to sign papers to give our consent. Now living in the digital era, technology is advancing and people are looking for convenience and a better customer experience. With the explosion of the internet, businesses are marking their presence in the digital world to attract more customers from all around the world. Hence, the concept of a physical signature is long forgotten.

A digital way to say “I Agree”.

With the evolution of digital platforms and web applications, businesses introduced multiple ways to practice consent from users. For example, “I agree” checkboxes and  pop-up notifications that required a click / check action from users to continue. However, these traditional ways have a major limitation and that is they are dependent on customers’ honesty. 

For instance in the case of sites selling age-restricted products: “Click to continue if you are 18+” is the consent check. Sometimes it may require user age at the time of creating a profile but then again it all depends on the customers’ intention. What if the customer is not being honest and lying about his age? It may land the business in serious legal issues resulting in fines and brand damage.

Modern problems require modern solutions. Consent verification solutions based on algorithms of artificial intelligence and machine learning are replacing the traditional checks. Incorporating the latest verification protocols, consent verification is becoming a new way of saying "I agree".

Digital Age of Consent

After the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation in 2018, accross Europe, there has been a sharp focus on children’s right to data privacy. According to article 8 of GDPR, each member state is obliged to set its own practice of  “Digital age of consent.” it means that every online business and platform needs to set up consent checks to ensure that children may not sign up for age-restricted online services without explicit consent from guardians.

The right age for the children to access the services depends on the country’s regulations. For example, 16 years old is considered the right age for Irish children. The traditional age and consent checks ask the users for birth date and will generate a warning box if the age is under 16 or 18 (as per country regulation). But upon entering an older age, the access will be granted.

Even after GDPR, underage children can still sign-up for these platforms and services without any parental guidance and consent. In fact, due to inefficient measures, the attempts to get parental guidance can be surpassed easily. Eventually, children lie about their age and get exposed to the dark web with no protection of their data.

Therefore, consent verification is essential to protect the minors online and comply with GDPR requirements. Consent verification doesn’t only require “I agree” check; instead, the businesses can also verify that the consent is given by an authorized person only by verifying the identity of the person as well. 

Authenticate Payment through Digital Consent

Consent verification plays a vital role in authenticating the digital payments. Due to the rise in identity theft and account takeover frauds, there has been a significant increase in unauthorised payment fraud. Inefficiency to authenticate transactions and payments leads to fraudulent chargebacks for merchants and financial institutions.

Giving consent is now as easy as taking a selfie, no extra effort required. The consent verification through handwritten notes along with facial recognition saves organisations from financial loss. Moreover, consent at the time of checkouts facilitates merchants from falling victim to false chargeback claims. By providing the proof of consent to the authorities, they can easily avoid fraudulent and false chargebacks. 

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