US government prohibits the use of “age estimation” technology for facial analysis

In a unanimous decision, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has rejected plans to implement a privacy-protective facial age estimation technology that would have analyzed the geometry of a user’s face to determine their age. The application for this technology was submitted last July by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), UK-based identity software firm Yoti, and youth marketing company SuperAwesome. The purpose of this technology was to enforce the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA), which requires parental consent for online services likely to engage users under the age of 13.

The FTC’s decision to deny the application was without prejudice, meaning that it could be resubmitted in the future. However, no ruling has been made on the merits of the technology. The ESRB clarified that the technology was intended for use by adults seeking to provide parental permissions, not by children themselves. The technology did not involve taking or storing selfies of users or trying to identify users.

It is currently unclear when or if the ESRB and its partners will resubmit the technology for review in the future.

By Riley Johnson

As a content writer at newsmol.com, I dive into the depths of information to craft compelling stories that captivate and inform readers. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I strive to create engaging content that resonates with our audience. Whether it's breaking news, in-depth features, or thought-provoking opinion pieces, I am dedicated to delivering high-quality, informative content that keeps readers coming back for more. My goal is to bring a fresh perspective to every article I write and to make a meaningful impact through the power of words.

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