What methods does Germany use to protect minors from

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Three systems that check people’s age using AI technology to prevent minors from being exposed to harmful content have been approved by the German Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media, according to Euractiv.

These AI systems, which have been positively assessed by the body, are trained in machine learning to assess a person’s age based on biometric characteristics.

“The fact that artificial intelligence can now be used to check age and thus protect children and young people from problematic content is an important, new step,” Commission President Marc Jan Eumann said in a press release last week. last (May 24).

According to Eumann, the use of artificial intelligence in this field is “a milestone in the technical protection of children and young people in the media.”

The supervisory body has now positively assessed three different AI systems for age verification. These are the “facial age estimation” software, as well as the “Age Verification” and “Yoti” software, which are being examined as possible age verification systems.

As a kind of safety mechanism for children who look older than they are, the child protection authority has set a five-year “buffer”.

“Individuals must be recognized by the system as being at least 23 years old in order to have access to the assessed content over the age of 18,” it said.

Another control feature is that age verification cannot be bypassed simply by using still images.

Procedures for this self-identification are being developed in constant consultation with regulators and security authorities, Rebekka Weiß, head of the trust and security department at the digital association Bitkom, told EURACTIV.

“Not only has digital identification become much more effective through such procedures, but it is even less prone to error than human identification,” Weiß said.

According to the Interstate Treaty on the Protection of Minors in the Media, which was agreed by the 16 German MPs, content that endangers young people can only be distributed online if the provider can ensure that only adults can access it.

Therefore, the German youth protection body encourages companies to review their youth protection strategies in the media and to ensure that they comply with legal requirements.

Data protection

According to Maximilian Funke-Kaiser, spokesman for the digital policy of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in the German Bundestag, we must not forget that age verification and data processing ensure data protection.

Responsible handling of biometric data is all the more important when involving children and young people.

“The processing of personal data requires a legal basis and the consent of the person with parental authority,” Funke-Kaiser told EURACTIV.

According to him, the data collected in the context of age verification may in no case be used for commercial purposes.

EU Directive

In this context, the Audiovisual Media Services Directive obliges EU countries to take steps to ensure adequate child protection since its entry into force in 2013.

This includes tools for age verification, which are supposed to be very strict, especially for pornography and violence.

According to the youth protection body, Germany has already made significant progress in its implementation, and other countries such as France are also catching up.