18+ Age Gateway FAQ
18+ provides an insanely easy and secure way for visitors to your website to validate their adult age. The 18+ Age Gateway refers to the overlay screen that prevents a visitor from the United Kingdom from accessing the content of your website without first proving his or her age.
18+ App is available for iOS and Android. The 18+ App stores a user’s Age Credential, which allows the user to pass the 18+ Age Gateway by either clicking the 18+ Logo or by scanning a QR code.
After it comes into effect, UK law will require websites with adult content to verify the age of their visitors. This law is called the Digital Economy Act 2017. Further information about this law can be found at https://www.ageverificationregulator.com
Yes. If your website is accessible from the UK, you must comply with the law. You could block all UK IP addresses, but it would be simpler to use our free Age Gateway to comply with the law.
Technically, non-commercial websites do not need to comply with the law. However, if you have adult content on your website, why not err on the side of caution and simply use an Age Gateway.
Visitors will need to verify their age and download the 18+ App. By downloading the 18+ App, the user will NOT need to make an account, provide their email or password.
To verify their age, a visitor will need to let our partner company check to ensure the age block of their mobile phone provider is turned off. Alternatively, the visitor can confirm his or her age with a UK bank issued credit card. Finally, the visitor can confirm his age with a government issued ID card.
Yes, by all means. Download the iOS or Android app. Visit demo.agegateway.com. Scan the QR code or click the 18+ icon. You will see how fast the 18+ Age Gateway lets you pass.
Note: until the law becomes effective, the 18+ App is being used for demo purposes and does not verify age. You will not be asked to verify your age --- this is not a bug. Most people evaluating the 18+ App and the 18+ Age Gateways are not based in the UK. Therefore, we are not requiring age verification to pass any Age Gateway until the law comes into effect.
Using an app means no usernames and passwords. 18+ doesn’t collect emails, phone numbers, require PINs or passcodes. It takes more time to enter a username and password than it does to use 18+ App. In fact, after downloading the 18+ App, a visitor to your website can pass age verification with 18+ in less than 5 seconds from start to finish.
Also, the 18+ App is considerably more private and secure for the user than entering an email and password.
Simple: 18+ offers the best user experience
First, 18+ is insanely fast. We’ve coded the age gateway to instantly disappear as soon as the user’s age has been verified without further clicks by the user. A user taps the “confirm” button on the 18+ App and within milliseconds he or she is into your website.
Second, 18+ requires no redirection away from your website. We know the number one concern of webmasters is retaining traffic. The most critical component of any age verification process is simplicity and speed. Website redirections kill the user experience.
Third, 18+ offers the most anonymous digital solution for users. Because your website does not redirect to 18+ and your server does not need to call to our servers to verify an age credential, we have no record of the websites users visit. We don’t need to promise to delete data because we never collect data.
Finally, it’s FREE.
We give you several options.
Option 2: We provide SDKs in popular languages to integrate a server-side Age Gateway. These are open source and free of charge. Implementing these takes a bit more technical expertise, but nothing that cannot be added quickly to your website in capable hands.
If you’re using WordPress, try our WordPress plugin to have a UK compliant age verification in less than 5 minutes.
Users import an Age Credential into the 18+ App. These age credentials can come from a number of sources, but at the moment, the only provider is our partner ReallyMe. 18+ may allow importation of other age credentials from other providers in the future.
ReallyMe verifies age in one of three ways:
- SMS: In the UK, all mobile phone carriers must block adult content unless the subscriber requests the block be removed and is age 18+. Therefore, If the user has removed the mandatory content blocks with his mobile phone carrier, one knows the subscriber is aged 18+. This method of verification is provided by VeriMe.
- Credit Card: In the UK, only persons age 18+ are permitted to have a credit card. Adult status can be confirmed with a valid credit card that has been issued by a UK bank. The credit card processor issues a unique fingerprint for each credit card used, ensuring that a credit card can be used only once.
- Driving License / Passport: Age can also be confirmed through a scan of a user’s driving license or passport whether issued by the UK or any other government agency. Software matches the picture of the person on the identity document to the user’s live face.
Once an Age Credential has been issued, the user imports the Age Credential into the 18+ App. The Age Credential is completely anonymous. It contains only a random string issued by the age verifier and confirmation the holder of the Age Credential is an adult.
No. 18+ App uses no trackers and has no advertising. We feel so strongly against applications using hidden tracking code, 18+ does not even contain the typical analytics code that calls to third-party services to track use of the app.
Yes. 18+ App is free for users to download and use. It is free for users to pass through an 18+ Age Gateway – we don’t charge adult websites or users.
The 18+ App operates on a freemium model. 18+ offers a private browser with a built-in VPN, and we charge users a subscription fee if they exceed a free allotment of time.
Users will also incur a one-time charge if they elect to use a premium method of age verification to 18+. Verifying by SMS costs 50p plus standard network charges. This cost covers the fees charged by mobile phone carrier and our partner to offer the service plus VAT. Verifying by credit card costs 50p, which covers the processing fee charged by the credit card processor.
Verifying by government ID is free.
We believe it’s important to be up-front about our business model. Our primary motivation stems from a desire to ensure the most private, secure and convenient age verification system.
We don’t want this law to further society down the path of creating a dystopian surveillance state. We believe citizens should be able to access legal material without creating a digital record.
Our business model seeks to cover costs of offering the service without compromising our principles.
No, and for good reason. The BBFC made, in our view, a very foolish decision by indicating it would not certify any “wallet” based age verification solution. The BBFC was worried about the privacy of a wallet solution. We disagree. A wallet clearly provides the best user experience and can be designed, as we have done, to be robustly private.
Simply stated, we could not offer the convenience, anonymity and security that we offer had we designed 18+ to be able to receive an age verification certificate.
The lack of the AV certificate has no implication for webmasters. The BBFC has been very clear the certificate is voluntary and does not speak to whether a solution meets the legal age verification requirements. The certificate only demonstrates that the verification provider met certain standards relating to intrusion prevention and data security.
Due to the fact 18+ does not receive any personal information concerning its users, in our view, 18+ meets or exceeds the certification standards.
The sole reason 18+ did not pursue the certification relates to the fact the BBFC will not certify a wallet solution. If it changes position on this, we intend to seek a certification.