The internet is a fast-moving world of incredible opportunities, but as more and more children navigate its almost limitless landscapes, the risks they face are also increasing.
Several measures are required to keep youngsters safe online: global data protection and online safety law cornerstones, including age assurance and verifiable parental consent.
But what does the latter actually mean? How can parents and businesses ensure any child's online activities are being supervised by a genuinely responsible adult?
This is where the VPC Trust Alliance comes in.
Launched at the Privo Children's Digital Privacy Summit in Los Angeles, the VPC Trust Alliance has been driven by Privo and TrustElevate, and brings together a diverse coalition of experts in their fields.
They include leading firms Microsoft and BT; global government regulators; academics; child rights advocates and technology developers to offer unparalleled expertise in identity, privacy, child rights, security and online safety.
The VPC Trust Alliance’s mission
The VPC Trust Alliance mission is to:
Define the state-of-the-art in verifiable parental consent
Examining existing methods, their assurance levels, and the ethical and legal considerations they raise.
Forge consensus on standardised assurance levels
Establishing benchmarks for different parental consent methods as new technologies emerge, ensuring transparency and reliability.
Develop robust auditing and certification processes
Ensuring access to trusted verification and guidance for companies and organisations seeking to implement verifiable parental consent solutions.
Tailor solutions to regional and cultural contexts
Ensuring comprehensive solutions are applicable globally, from Europe's digital wallet ambitions to the unique realities of Kenya, Nigeria, and India.
Disseminate our findings and recommendations
Equipping policymakers, regulators, industry leaders, and consumer advocates with the knowledge and tools needed to protect children online.
The goals of VPC Trust Alliance
We aim to achieve:
A safer internet for children. Creating a digital landscape where children can thrive by minimising exposure to harmful content and ensuring responsible oversight.
Empowered digital parenting. Ensuring parents have the right tools and resources to navigate their children's online experiences and guide them towards responsible digital citizenship.
A framework for trust and certainty. Our standards will offer clear guidelines to companies and organisations, enabling them to implement verifiable parental consent, fostering innovation while always enhancing safeguarding.
An ambitious timeline
Using its wealth of expertise, the VPC Trust Alliance aims to develop a robust technical standard and update the minors trust framework by the end of Q1, 2024.
Although the timeline is ambitious, the Alliance will ensure all voices are respected and heard, with decisions made by consensus.
A roundtable meeting at the UK communications regulators offices is expected to take place in late February.
By joining forces through the VPC Trust Alliance, a digital world where children are protected, parents are empowered, and trust prevails, can be a reality.
Child age verification and TrustElevate
TrustElevate is the only secure, accurate and privacy-preserving provider of age verification for all age groups, including children.
It was founded by Dr Rachel O'Connell, author of the PAS 1296 age checking code of practice, currently being developed into international standard ISO 27566 that will enable businesses to determine their users' ages by relying on third-party age assurance providers.
TrustElevate is the only company globally that verifies an assertion of parental responsibility for a child, so a verified parent can grant permission to data processing on their child’s behalf.
Contact us to support the alliance - we would be delighted to hear from you.