Roblox to add opt-in age verification for players and developers – TechCrunch

Roblox is introducing an optional age verification for its users that will combine an ID verification with a selfie scan. While the system will not be required to play most Roblox games, it will be necessary for those who want to get early access to Roblox’s upcoming voice chat features when they launch later this fall. In addition, the company says that developers will be able to create new experiences that will depend on identity verification in the future.

The verification system is an acknowledgment that many of the top Roblox users are getting old. The company said earlier this month: to present its new feature “Spatial Voice”, that 50% of its users are now over 13 years old. It is also experiencing the most explosive growth among the 17-24 year old demographic.

Spatial voice, which will allow Roblox players to have real voice conversations while in-games, will initially be available to a group of 5,000 developers, all 13 years and older, who will be able to test out voice chat in a custom Roblox community space. . The rollout to Roblox’s broader user base will proceed slowly as it will require new moderation tools and security features to be built in parallel, the company had said. Age verification is now one of those tools.

Image credits: Roblox

Age verification will come in two stages.

First, when using the app, Roblox users will scan an ID card, driver’s license, passport, or other government ID. The company says it will not store the raw ID data. Instead, an anonymized value is generated, allowing Roblox to verify identity without risking exposure of the user’s real identity. Roblox compares the document data against a library of thousands of global document types to determine if it is legitimate. After scanning, the user will take a selfie to verify that they are a live individual rather than uploading a selfie image, something that could be automated to fool the system. The selfie is then compared to the person in the document. The process takes a few seconds after the image is taken, says Roblox.

It is quite common for identity verification to be offered on social platforms, as an optional tool. Facebook, for example, can ask users to verify their identity. to use your payment or donation services or have your profile or verified page. Twitter You can also request an ID to verify accounts. Tinder recently made its own identity verification available to the members as well.

However, in the case of Roblox, verification will become more common as it is linked to access to newer voice-enabled games and experiences in the future. Roblox has yet to say what alternative methods, if any, to verify the age for voice chat you can employ later.

The company notes that developers and creators will also be able to use verification as a sign of trust when looking for contributors; Verified status, in this case, can have the same kind of influence as elsewhere on social media. On this front, Roblox this summer released a Talent center, where users can search for jobs within the Roblox developer community.

Age verification will roll out gradually, starting today, and will reach all users over the next few weeks. The subscription feature will be available globally to everyone 13 years of age and older in more than 180 countries, on both desktop and mobile devices.

“Age Verification marks a great milestone in our long-term vision of building a trustworthy, fun and civil platform for everyone,” said Roblox Senior Product Manager Chris Aston Chen in an announcement. “As part of that vision, we will continue to work on seamless ways to verify the age of a user, always respecting the privacy of the user. Over time, we will continue to introduce new and innovative ways for users to easily and securely maintain and protect their identity on the Roblox platform, unlock new and immersive social capabilities, and build and enjoy incredible experiences together, ”added Chen.

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