Identity verification is very important across all industries and the education sector is no different. New technologies emerge constantly and evolve and, as a result, so does the way people, including children, use them. Online platforms and electronic devices tend to make life easier for users, but they also have certain dangers attached to them. Educational institutes usually have a large volume of sensitive and confidential data such as students’ personal files, academic records, or financial data. Thus, schools or colleges are responsible for safeguarding this information from being misuse. Age verification of students is an important part of it.
Age Verification in the Education Industry
Schools and colleges usually enroll students a few times a year and need to ensure that the documents provided by the students are authentic and truthful. Surpassing ancient methodologies, colleges and schools are adopting more technologies to teach. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, distance learning and e-learning have gained immense popularity, enabling students to study remotely, without having to be physically present in a classroom. However, this method also poses certain threats to institutes.
Additionally, schools also need to be update with the latest emerging technologies and digital teaching tools. Nevertheless, these advancements also give rise to the risk of data privacy issues due to unauthorize access. In the USA, there have been a lot more cases recently of data breaches in colleges and schools than previously.
In 2020, Iceland imposed a fine of ISK1,300,000 in a case relate to personal data breaches. Therefore, it is necessary to have online age verification systems in place to verify that the students being enrolle are exactly how old they say they are. Their ID documents need to be cross-check against databases to confirm that the information provide by students is not fabricated.
There are also certain systems in schools’ online platforms that students may be using for educational purposes. These systems may also contain websites or programs that are not appropriate for students or permissible. Thus, schools should have online age verifiers in place to confirm whether the individual trying to access the program is authorize to do so. So, having age checks in place helps educational institutions to establish trust with students and their parents.
Methods of Online Age Verification in Schools
To safeguard sensitive information, educational institutions need to have robust solutions to verify customer age. These solutions will help them comply with data protection and privacy regulations. This will allow them to enroll students with authentic IDs into the institutions. In order to confirm the ages of students, institutes need to ask for students’ birth certificates and government-issued ID cards which would contain their personal details, including date of birth. They would then verify the information from databases before moving forward with the enrollment. Advanced AI-based solutions to identify age online would take a quick scan of IDs and verify them within a few seconds. Furthermore, after the completion of the enrollment process, schools still need to monitor students’ activities especially when it comes to accessing computer systems of the school.
They should also be made to go through age authentication to ensure that students are not trying to access age-inappropriate content or programs. Schools can also verify age of students via email addresses. This will be particularly useful in the cases of enrollment for online classes or distance learning. Implementing these procedures will help institutions create a safer learning space for students. Additionally, schools should also educate their students about the significance of age verification processes and explain to them why it is important for their safety and for the school’s security.
Like all other industries, the education sector also needs to undergo age verification procedures to protect students from accessing harmful content and their reputation. Nowadays, with schools shifting more of their operations online, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, verification procedures are essential and age authentication is a crucial part of it. Schools and colleges must verify the authenticity of students and ensure that they do not gain access to age-inappropriate content within the premises. Therefore, for the student’s safety and to establish trust among students, educational institutions should have proper age verification procedures in place for smooth student onboarding.