Image source: CNIL

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule is being reviewed and comment is being requested on an application submitted by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) and others to implement a new mechanism for acquiring parental consent.

Child protection needs are expanding beyond the basic requirements on technology providers and website owners to install identity verification solutions to check who is able to access their services or content with age restrictions. Parental content, which must be sought in conjunction, should strengthen the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule in its duty to protect.

Unacceptable delays were reported with regards to passing the UK’s Online Safety Bill, which eventually came into effect in 2022, with a lack of urgency being a common compliant across European agencies tackling the dark effects of social media and trying to implement age-restrictions on harmful social media platforms and pornography sites.

The Federal Trade Commission is currently seeking comment on the application to incorporate parental consent into a robust regulation.

ESRB operates a COPPA safe harbor program and was supported by Yoti, a digital identity verification company, and SuperAwesome, a verification software engineer that reshapes the digital media landscape for young people.

All companies have combined an approval request for “Privacy-Protective Facial Age Estimation” technology to be used in analysing the geometry of a user’s face to confirm whether they are an adult.

Yoti’s CEO and Co-Founder, Robin Tombs, clarified a possible misunderstanding of the Age Estimation technology on LinkedIn.

He said, “no parents are identified as part of the age estimation process”.

“The technology does not perform facial recognition (matching a face to one or more faces in a database)”. Parents consent to choose this age verification method on themselves to authorise which sites and platforms their children can safely have access to which are appropriate to their age.

He also explained that the faces of parents are analysed and then instantly deleted from the database to maintain privacy.

Under the proposed COPPA Rule, websites are legally required to obtain parental content before collecting or using the personal information of a child for advertising purposes or to promote content which will be seen by a child under 13.

Services can refer verifiable parental consent methods to the Commission for approval, which will be reviewed within 120 days.

The public will have until August 21, 2023 to submit a comment before being posted to