German Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media approves Onfido for age verification

October 26, 2020 Laura Noye

The Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media, “Kommission für Jugendmedienschutz” (KJM), has given a positive assessment of Onfido as a further solution for age verification (AVS concept) in telemedia. The concept presented is an overall solution which enables identification by means of an automated process involving the comparison of biometric data.

Onfido provides services on behalf of clients where users can prove their identity by taking a photo of their identity document (ID) and a selfie image or live video with the corresponding app. Onfido checks that the ID is genuine and not fraudulent using a hybrid approach which combines artificial intelligence and expert human analysis. A biometric comparison of the photo on the ID with the selfie image or live video is then carried out to ensure the person presenting the identity is its legitimate owner and is physically present. Facial biometric data can also be used for authentication later on in the customer lifecycle.

After examining the concept, the KJM came to the conclusion that Onfido’s solution is suitable as an age verification method and a complete AVS concept, meeting KJM criteria for ensuring a closed user group for adults pursuant to the Interstate Treaty on the Protection of Minors in the Media (Jugendmedienschutz-Staatsvertrag, JMStV). 

According to the JMStV, certain content harmful to minors may only be disseminated in telemedia if the provider uses a closed user group to ensure that only adults have access to it. In order to provide legal and planning security, the KJM offers interested companies the opportunity to check whether their concepts for technical youth media protection meet the legal requirements.

According to the KJM's "AVS Grid" (valid since 11 December 2019), a face-to-face check is not always required. Instead, identification software can be used, so long as the solution compares the biometric data on the ID with a photograph of the person to be identified. 

The Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media is an organ of the State Media Authorities and an expert committee consisting of representatives of the Federal Government and the Länder. In Germany, the KJM is the central supervisory body for the protection of minors in private broadcasting and the Internet. 

Further information on the Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media (KJM) and its members can be found here.

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