Protection of minors on the Internet

Long gone are the days when the Internet resembled the Wild West and when rules only gave the appearance of appropriate norms. Times have changed - we live in an era of high social and moral standards that are entirely focused on the well-being of our society. Virtual space is no exception. Human internet presence has increased from zero to almost unlimited in just over two decades. As our lives gradually and completely merge with the online space, our identity and personal data become the subject of political debate. Targeted marketing, email abuse and other unwanted surprises have prompted authorities to take appropriate protective measures. Young people are particularly at risk as they can fall victim to such attacks and be affected in ways that could affect their health.

Until recently, child protection was not differentiated from the laws that applied to everyone else. You could move around the vastness of the Internet completely anonymously. For example, a minor could enter a website by simply “confirming” they were 18+ in a pop-up window without further verification. Germany was the first country to recognize the need for more comprehensive age verification and set ground rules for access to age-sensitive content. However, neighboring European countries have been slow to take similar measures, and while Germany is leading the way in this regard, a more extensive regulatory framework is now spreading across the European Union.

A crucial step forward is the introduction of the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), which regulates EU-wide coordination of national legislation for all audiovisual media. The new EU rules aim to create a legal framework that suits the digital age and leads to a safer, fairer and more diverse audiovisual environment. Among other things, consumer protection will be focused and strengthened, with particular attention to the safety of the most vulnerable people - minors.

The Commission for Youth Media Protection (KJM), a state authority, is tasked with regulating the exposure of children to digital media. It is responsible for enforcing compliance with the State Treaty on the Protection of Minors in the Media. Dr. Tobias Schmidt from the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA) has been pushing for the introduction of age controls on adult websites since 2019, which is now being done directly by the KJM is handled. Failure to comply with the law can lead to undesirable consequences such as fines, platform bans and other punitive measures. Earlier this year the declared KJMthat it plans to block access to the country's largest pornographic website, xHamster, with the blocking expected to take place within a few weeks. Blocking access to Europe's largest market of 83 million people is likely to be devastating for the industry.

The legislation being pushed by state regulators is far from radical. On the contrary, it attempts to create the basis for a safe digital environment in which users, and especially minors, feel comfortable and safe. But admittedly, every measure has its advantages and disadvantages, and good decisions often involve a compromise. By building a shield against digital fraud and malicious activity, we are simultaneously handing over massive amounts of personal data to providers for identity verification, losing the internet's treasured anonymity and raising questions about how to protect the data. Retailers are apparently not equipped for this - they lack technological resources and are still prepared to burden their balance sheets with high costs.

In addition, the new, legally required measures are difficult to implement. They require extensive knowledge and years of experience. The KJM calls for the application of complex solutions in accordance with the Youth Media Treaty in order to ensure the protection of minors. As a result, this complexity leads to barriers to use, drives away existing and potential customers and reduces companies' profits.

Regulators will no doubt push the laws further. Germany is setting the trend that will eventually be adopted by all members of the European Union. For many traders, the only way out of this regulatory mess is to rely on market experts like TantumPay that can facilitate the transition to the new administrative reality and cushion the negative effects of the new requirements. TantumPay has both the capacity and expertise to meet current needs and tools to meet future developments. All of this is free for users and removes unnecessary hurdles for potential participants.

The solution

Tantum offers an easy-to-implement yet sophisticated identity verification solution that fully complies with the German and EU/EEA legal framework. Those from the KJM positively rated, innovative and patented technology from Tantum guarantees users anonymity when accessing platforms, makes the sharing of data unnecessary and thus creates security for users. Tantum's goal is to give consumers control over their personal data while making the registration process easier. By giving users control over their sensitive data, they can maintain their anonymity without having to miss out on any offers. Furthermore, Tantum goes beyond the current legal framework. The TantumIdent solution offers customers identification without human video contact, which in many cases discourages those users who want to remain discreet without revealing their individual habits.

Creating a user-friendly environment already gives retailers an edge in the e-commerce market. In addition, Tantum works with each merchant on a case-by-case basis, adhering to fundamental principles such as flexibility and cost-effectiveness. Each trader receives a tailor-made solution at a price that does not reduce their profits and allows seamless continuity of the process.

Are you looking for an easy-to-implement and affordable age verification solution?

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