Adult Verification System
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An Adult Verification System (AVS) also known as an "Age Gate" is a computing system used by a website to confirm that the user attempting to access their website is of the age required (usually by law) to view the website's content, which typically includes sex, nudity, violence or profanity, Age-Restricted YouTube channels or videos, or ESRB rated content for M-rated and AO-rated video games, or Alcoholic beverages and Tobacco.
The system is used to attempt to legally protect companies from punishment under laws against (for example) Disseminating pornography to a minor. These systems often use a credit card, and are usually provided by a third-party company; the same AVS company can provide adult verification for multiple websites, thus becoming more user friendly.
In 1999, a particular AVS (Landslide Inc.) was at the center of a police crackdown on internet users viewing child pornography, known as Operation Ore, in which web users using an Landslide's AVS were identified by their financial records when the company which stored the data went into liquidation.
Problems with this system include the ease at which a child may get access to (for example) their parents credit cards, defeating the stated purpose of the system, and that it is easy to use a fake script to defraud users into divulging their credit card number to an individual to use for their own purposes.
- "Oz Proposes Tough New Filter Law". www.wired.com. 2001-11-22. Retrieved 2008-06-06.