The fastest and most secure way to verify your age online today.
Age gates are simply popups or landing pages that gate access to sites based on the user’s age. You typically see these on sites that host age-restricted content like alcohol, cannabis, online-gambling, or adult entertainment sites. Most ask users to self-attest their age by entering their birthdate, or even simply clicking a button to confirm over 18 status. The obvious issue is that users typically don’t tell the truth (yes, even some that have no reason to lie), thus negating their primary purpose - validating the age of the person behind the keyboard. And those that impose more stringent checks (like scanning ID documents or cross-referencing credit data) pose both personal security and privacy risks to the users.
FLOW ID is a privacy-first, user-owned digital identity platform, independent of any other commercial entity. The intent of the platform is to verify yourself once, and then represent yourself to all other sites with a single identity, rather than re-uploading personal credentials to every site you visit. FLOW ID was built from the ground up with user privacy and security in mind. All user data is stored locally on-device, and only the minimum is shared externally, specifically at the direction of the user.
FLOW ID’s solution for age gating balances the need for privacy, a smooth user experience, and the certainty of the information being shared. We’ve boiled it down to just the essentials. The FLOW ID Age Gate only requests 2 pieces of information from the user: over 18 status (simple YES or NO), and the US state in which they are located. Nothing more. The age threshold of 18 is compared against the user’s government issued photo ID, scanned only once during user onboarding, and stored encrypted locally on-device. The date of birth is extracted from this image and used to determine over 18 status. The location is a one-time sample from GPS, where only the state is extracted. This directly counters the concern that location-based age gates are too easily subverted by using VPNs, which fool IP-based geolocation schemes.
Knowing your identity isn’t the only risk online. Tracking what you do can be just as sensitive.
The goal is to not let any one single entity be able to connect all the dots about you. This gets us to the important distinction: the one between anonymity vs. privacy. It's perfectly reasonable to have a 3rd party verify your identity and validate information about you: thus, knowing specifically WHO you are. But they DON’T need to also know WHAT you do online (i.e., privacy, or the inability to observe you). Websites, on the other hand sometimes have a legal requirement to ensure the viewer is over a certain age. But they DON’T need to know who that person is (i.e., anonymity, or the inability to identify you).
FLOW ID provides a layer of separation and trust between the business and the user. FLOW ID brokers this exchange, providing a layer of certainty that the information being shared is valid, but more importantly, does so without recording the link between users and businesses.