Age verification should be Apple's job, says Tinder Match parent

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg argues that for age-restricted apps, age verification should be Apple's job. Now he's echoed by the new head of trust and safety at Match, the company behind leading dating apps like Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid and Plenty of Fish.

Yoel Roth, who used to have one same role on Twitter – said that Apple and Google have more opportunities to accurately estimate the age of users of their smartphones…

'Age verification should be Apple's job'

This point of view was first voiced by Meta last November year year.

“When a teen wants to download an app, app stores will be required to notify their parents, just as parents are notified if their teen attempts to make a purchase,” the service executive writes Meta Security Antigone Davis. “Parents can decide whether they want to approve the download.”

Zuckerberg personally argued this when testifying before Congress back in January.

In prepared testimony, Meta's Zuckerberg called on lawmakers to instead require the Apple and Google app stores to verify the age of younger users.

Match joins the call

Wired interviewed Yoel Roth, the former head of trust and safety at Twitter who was one of the victims of Elon Musk's firing. Now he has accepted the same role at Match Group, the company behind more than half a dozen of the largest dating apps.

We take great care to identify underage users and remove them from our products. But I think app stores have an opportunity to play a role in this as well. Age assurance and age verification is an issue that many companies will have to deal with and is included in a number of different regulations. We're going to continue to do what we're doing here to prevent underage users from using the platforms, but I'd like to see these issues moved a little upstream so we have better tools and signals to do the job.

When asked whether Mutch wanted to shift the blame to Apple and Google, relieving the company of responsibility, Roth said the question is which company is best equipped to do the job.

I think it's about who in the ecosystem is in a good position to have information about someone's age. When you're in a position like the App Store, where you have payment card information and additional information from someone's device, you can get more information about how old they are than just the app.

9to5Mac's opinion

Best comment Posted by Rodney Williams

Liked by 10 people

Parents are responsible for monitoring their child's iPhone activity. Especially if the child is under age. In most cases, this is a sentence, because not all minor children are bad. There are many underage children who are smart and responsible. I remember discussing with my ex-wife the idea of ​​giving our children a smartphone when they were still in high school. I told her no. They're too young. Our kids got their first smartphone in high school, around 10th grade. By then they have shown themselves to be responsible and reasonable in everything they do. They saw teenagers among their peers being irresponsible with their smartphones and getting into trouble at school. Doing crazy things like showing porn and so on. The companies behind these social media platforms as well as smartphones are responsible for implementing protective measures on these smartphones to protect young people from the dangers of social media and other related things. Today I see young people as young as 10 years old having smartphones, which in my opinion is inappropriate unless certain settings are in place to protect the child from the potential dangers of social media. Again, everyone is different.

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We have noted previously that the motivation of these companies, of course, is the desire to avoid legal liability. At the same time, it is true that Apple knows the age of Apple ID holders better than the developer of most applications.

There are two additional factors here. First, if we are going to require App Store app providers or developers to collect a user's date of birth, I would prefer that sensitive information be in the hands of one company rather than multiple developers. Secondly, if you ask me who I trust most to protect confidential information, I will not argue.

So, no matter how self-serving these arguments may be, I still believe Apple and Google act with age. -checking and allowing or blocking all age-restricted apps on this basis is the best approach.

Photo by Alexander Zdrobeu on Unsplash

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