Major Cinemas Announce Child Digital ID Push for Age Verification
Young people from age 13 will prove their age using the Yoti app
Cinema operators in the UK are moving to accept digital IDs for kids aged from 13 as proof of age.
The UK Cinema Association representing over 90 percent of UK cinema operators including Cineworld, Odeon, Showcase Cinemas, and Vue has announced a partnership with digital identity provider Yoti that will see participating sites accept Yoti and its partner’s Post Office EasyID apps as proof of age.
Young people from age 13 will prove their age using the Yoti app, which uses biometric technology, from their smartphones.
The association said in a statement that it will “reduce the challenges many cinemas face in checking ages as required by the current film classification system.”
Phil Clapp CEO of the UK Cinema Association said:
“For many wanting to get into a ‘15’ or even ‘18’ certificate film, proving their age—without a passport or driving licence to hand—can be incredibly difficult and an understandable source of frustration should they be turned away from the cinema," they added.
“Of the 165 million to 170 million admissions per year, UK cinemas were seeing pre-pandemic, around 30 percent fall within the 15–24-year-old bracket (and around 20 percent within the 9–14-year-old age group),” he added.
“Since cinemas re-opened last May those proportions are likely to be even higher.”
“Young people expect to be able to do everything with their phone and using it to prove their age will come naturally to them," he continued.
"It’s a win-win for both cinemas and young cinema-goers,” said Robin Tombs, CEO and co-founder at Yoti.
Pippa King, co-director of the children’s privacy rights organisation Defend Digital Me, told The Epoch Times that she had concerns that its “normalising kids to digital ID.”
King questioned if children trying to get into cinemas to see older films really warranted the rollout of digital ID.
“It creates another digital footstep for them which they don’t need and it’s encouraging kids to carry mobile phones on them too," King said.
"You are creating a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Where is this line of direction going?” said King.
Yoti is a World Economic Forum Global Coalition member and says it wants to make “the internet safer” through its digital ID and age verification technology.
It is also a part of the World Economic Forum’s Global Coalition for Digital Safety, which is a global push to “accelerate public-private cooperation to tackle harmful content online.”
In January, Yoti announced that it was also trialing facial age estimation technology for self-service checkouts in Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Aldi, and the Co-op to check customers’ ages when purchasing products such as alcohol.