In the Australian government’s response to the roadmap for age verification, submitted by the e-Safety Commissioner in March 2023, their judgement of “immature” technologies that present privacy, security and enforcement risks outweighed sympathy that online pornography is very much harmful to children.

A study included in the report quoted that 44% of children between 9 and 16 years are exposed to pornographic content online.

Despite calls over several years for a hardline e-safety policy, the government denied that ‘age assurance’ technologies were at a sufficient standard to be made mandatory for porn websites and social media platforms, with millions of young users, to implement. The age verification solutions market is not currently deemed ready to meet the demand however industries are tackling the development of technologies.

In other regions, faith in biometrics and age verification solutions may vary, as by contrast, standard measurements of biometrics such as NIST testing has helped certify many solution providers allowing them to reach the marketplace with high assurance of bias mitigation.

The report and government’s decision not to use “evolving” age verification technologies suggests that biometrics still present bias and anti-privacy concerns which industries should be tackling. The government puts pressure on industries to protect citizens using their services, whilst the Albanese Government and UK are far more ahead than Australia in establishing an Online Safety Bill. eSafety Commissioner will threaten to enforce an industry standard if the codes developed by industry do not provide appropriate community safeguards.

On 1 June 2023, the eSafety Commissioner agreed to five of eight drafted codes by the industry