Think of the Children!
Roblox is rolling out an ID age verification system to help make sure inappropriate content doesn’t make it to kids. The system is currently operating on an opt-in basis, but certain content is locked behind doing it.
Roblox is rolling this service out mainly for its new feature coming soon, spatial voice. Spatial voice is set to leave the Developer Beta soon and enter early access. The service is meant to mimic real-life conversations taking into account proximity, tone of voice, and more. If you’ve ever played an online game before, you know why you might want to age-gate it.
Once spatial voice enters public beta, only those who go through the age verification process will be able to use it.
Senior Product Manager Chris Ashton Chen had this to say about age verification:
“As our community continues to expand, both globally and by age (nearly 50% of the users on our platform are over the age of 13 as of Q2 2021), we want to make sure that everyone can express themselves in a safe and respectful way. Being confident in a user’s age and identity is a critical foundation for metaverse safety and civility. We are developing new and innovative ways to do so while always respecting users’ privacy.”
Roblox age verification is a bit of a process. You start by submitting your ID, such as a passport or driver’s license, then you submit a selfie. The ID confirms your age, while the selfie confirms you match your ID and that you are, in fact, a living human being.
As this rolls out over the next couple of weeks, people might be worried about their ID leaking. Roblox says that can’t happen as they don’t store the raw ID or selfie data. Once your ID is scanned, an anonymized value is created and that is what is stored.
Age verification is pretty strict, but it is probably necessary. I don’t know much about Roblox, but I do know a bunch of school shootings were being recreated on the platform. Yeah, I think I understand why this is necessary.