The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved a biometric authentication system for the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA), a piece of federal legislation detailing parental consent requirements for online operators, according to a new update from Lexology.
The biometric system, first proposed by Jest8 Limited, revolves around facial recognition. To provide consent for a child’s access to certain online services, a parent must submit a piece of government-issued photo identification, and then use a webcam or mobile device to take video of her own face in real time. Once the system confirms that the video is in fact a live picture by detecting movement, it will proceed to match the parent’s face against the government-issued document, ensuring that the actual parent is providing consent at the time of application.
The government has proven enthusiastic about biometric authentication in many areas, but this is a somewhat novel application. What’s more, the system’s insistence on liveness provides a crucial safeguard against spoofing—an approach that private businesses are starting to embrace as well. It should allow for a safe and reasonably convenient means of obtaining parental consent for those operators that choose to take advantage of it.
December 20, 2015 – by Alex Perala