[ONLINE] Can Age Verification Help Kids Stay Safe Online?

Two kids on the floor, using laptops
Wikimedia Foundation

Conversations about the safety of youth online are dominating headlines and dinner table discussions. U.S. lawmakers’ concerns about the negative impacts of unfettered access to online content and social media on young people’s mental health and safety have led to a flurry of legislative activity. In 2023, more than 60 bills were introduced at the state and federal level requiring greater parental consent, age restrictions, and/or safety-by-design measures online. One popular approach to protecting kids—mandating age verification—is poorly understood and may pose more risks than benefits. Current age verification methods are underdeveloped and can have serious unintended consequences for the constitutional rights, privacy, and security of all users—both children and adults.

Join New America’s Open Technology Institute for a virtual panel on the recent age verification movement, discussing the relationship between age verification and identity verification as well as how to navigate the potential ramifications of age verification requirements. Panelists will unpack implications for users, lawmakers, industry, and civil society; discuss how age verification could be done responsibly; and explore alternative paths to protecting young people online.

Read OTI's new report on age verification mandates to learn more about the issue.

Prem M. Trivedi, Policy Director, New America’s Open Technology Institute

David Sullivan, Executive Director, Digital Trust & Safety Partnership

danah boyd, Author of It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens and youth expert

Ashley Johnson, Senior Policy Manager, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF)