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Age Estimation

What is Age Estimation?

Age Estimation is a process carried out by an Age Check Provider or an Age Check Decision Maker to establish that a citizen is likely to fall within a category of ages, over a certain age or under a certain age to a specified level of confidence by reference to inherent features or behaviours related to that citizen.

Age Categorisation is different to other types of Age Verification such as Age Determination and Age Categorisation because it does not use information about an individual, but rather an assessment of their inherent features or behaviours by that individual – such as what they look like to estimate their age.

How do we test or check Age Estimation?

We apply PAS 1296:2018 as the framework for assessing the approaches adopted for Age Estimation. If you use biometric or behaviour analysis, such as through Artificial Intelligence to estimate out how old a citizen is and use this information to put them in an age group and make a decision about their eligibility to access goods, content or services, then our independent 3rd party certification will help build client confidence that your systems actually work.

Our audit process for Age Categorisation is split into three parts:

  • Policy Evaluation - Our auditors will conduct an evaluation of your age check policies by building a detailed understanding of your approach to age checks, your practice statements, your approach to data privacy, protection and security, your approach to age validation, your commercial model(s) and your management of age attributes. Our policy evaluation will explore the approach you take to the provision of age check services and the decisions that you have made on the application of your age check policies and procedures.
  • Quality Evaluation - Our auditors will conduct an evaluation of how you manage and control your business. This means that we will check your approach to quality assurance, control of records, policies and documents, how you handle internal audit, control of non-conformity, customer/user complaints and stakeholder feedback. We will assess the ‘top management’ commitment to quality control, review and implementation of preventative measures.
  • Technical Evaluation - Our auditors will conduct a technical evaluation of your systems to ensure that their programming and performance are in accordance with your policies. The technical evaluation is undertaken by a technical specialist and is subsequent to the policy and quality evaluation. The Technical Evaluation includes, where applicable:
    • Bona Fide Test Crew Presentation – we can utilise a test crew of 18 – 21 year olds (currently – in future this will be broader) to carry out a test of the accuracy of your Age Estimation systems. Through this we can assess the false/accurate accept rates.
    • Presentation Attack Detection  – we can assess PAD for identity assets presentation (both genuine and false identity assets). We can utilise different presentation attack instruments, PAI species, and PAI series. This is sometimes more commonly known as anti-spoofing testing.
    • Detection Device Analysis  – we can assess performance on multiple forms of detection devices – webcams, tablets, cameras, mobile telephones – different operating systems (such as Android, ios, etc.) and at different presentation intensity, distance and angles. We can also test device integrated equipment, such as gaming machines or till systems, subject to them being made available to us at the testing studio.
    • Biometric Subject Behaviours  – We can assess systems deployed for identifying and analysing subject behaviours (such as squeezing together one's fingers in hand geometry and a biometric presentation in response to a directive cue which are both voluntary reactions)
    • Social Proofing  – is analysis, with a user’s consent, of their digital footprint and the related social graphs, which can be interrogated to determine the veracity of a self-asserted This is the ability of systems to gain estimation of age through analysis of the social contacts a citizen has and asking those social contacts to verify or confirm the age attributes of the citizen.
    • In situ Testing  – this is the testing of deployed units in real world scenarios. Typically, this comes after the initial certification and is part of the certification monitoring that is put in place to make sure that systems continue to perform as expected.

What jurisdictions are Age Estimation applicable to?

Age Estimation can operate throughout the world. In some jurisdictions, electronic age estimation carried out by Artificial Intelligence may be restricted by local laws. Age estimation carried out by human beings is the most common approach to age verification.

What standards, laws or regulations apply to Age Estimation?

Age Estimation is the least intrusive of the Age Verification methods as it does not require the decision maker to have access to any information about citizens to verify their identity. Instead, the biometric features or behaviour of citizens is used to assess how old they are.

There are currently very few laws or regulations applicable to Age Estimation. Although standards are developing, they are not yet fully in place.

How do I get our Age Estimation tested?

The first stage of gaining certification for your Age Estimation is for us to undertake an Application Review in accordance with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17065:2012. There is no fee for the completion of an application review.

During the application review:

  • Define the scope of certification;
  • Confirm the means available to perform all evaluation activities;
  • Confirm our competence and ability to perform the certification activity;
  • Confirm a plan for audit and evaluation;
  • Provide an Estimated Fee for our Certification Services


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