Australian users of YouTube and Google Play will soon need to verify their age to view mature content, as Google looks to satisfy new legislative requirements on its platforms.
The web giant will introduce the new age assurance step over the next month in response to the federal government’s Online Safety (Restricted Access Systems) Declaration 2022.
The declaration, a component of the Online Safety Act, requires platforms to take steps to limit the exposure of those under 18 to pornography and other age-inappropriate material.
Similar requirements for its online platforms exist in Europe and the United Kingdom through the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive.
Government affairs and public policy senior manager Samantha Yorke said in a blog post the new mechanism continues Google’s efforts to ensure “age-appropriate experiences”.
As part of the new age assurance step, users could be required to upload an image of their government ID or credit card to verify their age.
“Some Australian users may be asked to provide additional proof of age when attempting to watch mature content on YouTube or downloading content on Google Play,” Yorke said.
“If our systems are unable to establish that a viewer is above the age of 18, we will request that they provide a valid ID or credit card to verify their age.”
Google considers driver’s licences, proof of age cards or passports valid forms of identity in Australia, according to its support page.
ID documents will stored by Google until a user’s “date of birth is successfully verified” and then deleted.
It may also use the ID to “improve [its] verification services for Google products and protect against fraud and abuse”.