Court confirms: Well-known erotic portals violate the protection of minors
AVS from TantumPay offers a legally secure way out for users and operators
Since December 1st, what has become apparent over the last few months has been official: platforms that offer freely accessible erotic content are violating German youth protection regulations. And it doesn’t matter whether the company headquarters is in Germany or in another EU country. These are specifically portals of the Mindgeek Group. Mindgeek operates websites such as YouPorn, Pornhub, RedTube and Mydirtyhobby. Each of these portals receives millions of hits every day. Overall, freely accessible erotic websites are among the most popular sites on the Internet. Exclusion from the German market would mean significant business damage for Mindgeek.
TantumPay proves that it doesn't have to come to that point with its specially developed age verification system (AVS). TantumPay enables simple, fast and, above all, legally compliant age verification. The special feature: Call center agents are no longer required for authorization. Users benefit from anonymization and platforms from problem-free integration.
It's no longer possible without age verification
The legal framework for porn portals has become stricter over the last few months. There are two main drivers behind this in Germany: The German Commission for Youth Media Protection (KJM) and, above all, the State Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia (LfM NRW) have been trying to achieve uniform youth protection measures in adult entertainment for years. On the major erotic sites, minors can easily access FSK18 content with just a few clicks. An age check is usually carried out by asking whether the user is of legal age or not. Neither identification documents nor other verification data are required.
Exactly this one careless approach to child protection represents the biggest problem for the supervisory authorities. They also used this as an opportunity to contact the respective platforms in the summer of 2020. In a letter, the KJM complained about the disregard for the protection of minors. The KJM decided to block the respective websites in 2020. The portals then entered into a legal dispute. The first respectable success for the control authorities appears to have been the Düsseldorf judgment of December 1st. The affected platforms must introduce effective age verification. If you don't do this, a block via your local internet provider will be unavoidable.
According to the Youth Media Treaty, pornographic content is only permitted if platforms only allow adults access. Although there is also a youth protection driver at the European level with the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA), they are not as strict as the German requirements. And it was precisely this loophole that the platform operators tried to exploit for their own benefit for a long time. But the so-called country of origin principle no longer applies. The judges in Düsseldorf also decided this. Accordingly, it is not enough to have the servers in Cyprus and meet the rules of the European country of origin.
TantumPay: Lifebuoy for portals and user protection
Age control and youth protection are two sides of the same coin. The widespread lack of age verification also has to do with the extremely intimate topic of erotic consumption. Users are not willing to disclose their data and documents to a porn site. If the portals were to insist on this, the consequences would be a drop in reach and therefore sales. But users and site operators can breathe a sigh of relief – despite the court ruling. Because TantumPay’s AVS offers the solution for both groups. Once TantumPay is integrated on the respective website, platform operators automatically comply with German youth protection requirements.
TantumPay's age and identity verification offers users the desired and usual anonymity. There is no need to pass on personal information between the user and the portal. Identity verification is carried out in the TantumPay app using a combination of AI and machine learning technologies. The user simply takes a picture of the document and a short selfie video. The recordings are then checked and compared with each other. The algorithms check in the background whether the user is of legal age or not. Personal and sometimes embarrassing conversations with call center employees are unnecessary.
The platforms, on the other hand, receive Tantum, an identity verification engine that is compliant with the German and EU/EEA legal framework. Tantum’s overall solution has already become official rated positively by the KJM. And since authentication to a portal is anonymous and possible 24 hours a day, Tantum helps reduce abandonment rates.
TantumPay: German youth protection & global focus
But how does authentication with Tantum work? Large corporations such as Facebook and Google have already demonstrated a similar model. Many shops and online service providers allow users to create a customer account by logging in with their existing Google or Facebook account. A user login to an erotic provider could be similar. Only instead of Facebook, a TantumPay button is displayed.
If the user already has a Tantum account, a QR code scan is enough to check that they are of legal age. The respective portal receives the green light and the user is then part of a closed group that can access certain content. If the user does not yet have an account with Tantum, registration can be completed in just a few steps. Whether 50,000 or 5,000,000 logins: For Tantum's AVS, the number of verifications does not matter because data control does not depend on employees or opening times. The verifications can also be flexibly and individually adapted to different countries or business models.
Erotic platforms are far from the only companies that could face trouble with regulators in the future. Despite a clear legal framework and regular tightening of laws, not all affected portals have integrated an AVS. Caution is also advised when choosing the AVS. Because only one technical complete solution like TantumPay guarantees legal security.
Tantum's pricing model is flexible and allows platforms to benefit from a total solution without having to make massive investments. End customers also benefit from the user-friendliness. It is precisely this ease of use that promotes the user experience and strengthens the bond with the respective provider.
TantumPay – also accept payments!
With the upcoming banking license, TantumPay also offers portals the opportunity to accept payments by credit card or instant transfer. This means that users who have already been verified can easily make payments on the respective portals using a QR code scan. The guaranteed anonymity, even when making payments, reduces the possible inhibition threshold and enables higher customer acquisition!
Tantum helps to circumvent blocking
The Düsseldorf Administrative Court has decided that internet providers can actually be blocked if they continue to ignore German youth protection regulations. This also marked a groundbreaking verdict. It is likely that other countries will follow the decision and more industries will be affected. The sooner platform operators strive to create a legally compliant AVS, the greater their chance of benefiting from the stricter rules.
The affected portals now have the last opportunity to implement a technically sophisticated AVS in order to avert massive economic damage. TantumPay was developed precisely for such a scenario: It can be integrated quickly, offers numerous advantages for operators and enables a legally secure framework for everyone involved.