back to article Watchdog mulls online facial age-verification tech – for kids' parents

Technology that estimates how old someone is based on their face geometry may soon be used to verify internet users' ages, if an approach submitted to the US government gets the green light. While adults and teenagers' information is largely fair game, America does have significant privacy protections for the under-13s thanks …

  1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Surely no-one would think of...

    ...spoofing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surely no-one would think of...

      The article states that the technology includes "liveness anti-spoofing".

      So there goes any chance of its inclusion in my script for "Weekend at Bernies III".

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: liveness anti-spoofing

        Yes, I read that. I just had no confidence in it surviving a twelve year old.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surely no-one would think of...

      Yup. Play a video on a smartphone of some random person's face. It's moving in a realistic fashion - yep, they're alive, and from the white beard, clearly an adult. Ok, you may proceed.

      Or slip a 25-year-old $5, and they'll approve any age-gate request that comes to their email address. If they're bright, they won't attach their name to the account, and may do the play-a-video trick as well.

  2. that one in the corner Silver badge

    SuperAwesome (which teams with advertisers to help them target kids online)

    Doesn't that make your skin crawl?

    On that basis alone, chuck this out, please!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SuperAwesome (which teams with advertisers to help them target kids online)

      I wish I could upvote this 100 times!

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: SuperAwesome (which teams with advertisers to help them target kids online)

        I wish I could upvote this 100 times!

        They get a twofer because it links the kid to the parent, so can connect kids browsing habits to marketing for the parent to buy stuff for them.

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: SuperAwesome (which teams with advertisers to help them target kids online)

      Doesn't that make your skin crawl?

      When asked about privacy concerns related to the face-scanning tech, an ESRB spokeserson told us: "The live scans used for this process are never stored, used for AI training, used for marketing, or even sent to the operator; the only piece of information that is communicated to the operator is a 'Yes' or 'No' determination as to whether the person is over the age of 25."

      ...yet. Quick revision of the T&Cs and you have a facial recogniton database linked to credit card, drivers licence, SSN and other floggable data points.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: SuperAwesome (which teams with advertisers to help them target kids online)

        > "The live scans used for this process are never stored

        Pull the other one.

        It's the standard marketing perv's wet dream, not only does he have the whole curriculum including family ties, but also all their individual mugshots to boot! So you can sell the opportunity to identify/track them at leisure. Profit!

        (Entering a hardware store) "Welcome Mr Smith, I see you have bought a set of precision screwdrivers online yesterday, could we interest you in our high quality ACME precision screwdriver set currently on sale?"

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Greybeard for hire

    If you need to have a clearly aged face, email at: wizened@simply.ancient.com

    And if this system is cross-referencing how many times it sees my face: I have a lot of nieces and nephews.

  4. Someone Else Silver badge

    "SuperAwsome". Yeah, riiiiight!

    Makes you wonder if the kidz running this place are themselves above the age of 25.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: "SuperAwsome". Yeah, riiiiight!

      Mentally, no.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And Then There's This.....

    https://this-person-does-not-exist.com/en

  6. Bebu Silver badge
    Windows

    Seems a bit odd...

    I would have thought step (2.) would be the show stopper viz the 10 yo claims he/she is 23 yo - how do you detect kiddiness? Or do you challenge everyone? I imagine a good number of older visitors are going to say sod this...

    Really I don't see too many 10 yo lining up for porntube or snuff-movies-R-us as they are more likely to be looking for "Hello Kitty visits Noddy in Toyland"* which unless it involves an inordinate amount of leather and deep breathing is likely to be entirely suitable.

    As for capturing minors' data at all it should be a total no go. Personally I think nobody's data should be retained without explicit per item time limited consent. This would kill the core business of a good many very large internet enterprises and in my opinion none too soon.

    *I concede anything titled "Barbie does Oppenheimer" might be an edge case.

  7. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Land of the Free?

    You totally miss-spelled 'Hand over the fee'.

  8. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Known Ages

    patterns in its training dataset that are associated with known ages

    Such as the Age of Security Theater, which we are currently well in.

    Really. "Known ages". Such as, say, 39, an age which scientists have recently discovered.

    What happens if someone who's an unknown age gets scanned?

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