Epic Games announced on Thursday that its parent verification services would be made available to all developers for free, making it easier to create games that keep kids safe online.
Last September, Epic Games purchased SuperAwesome, a secure kid tech company. Epic Games was able to launch its Kids Web Services (KWS) program, which allows developers to “verify the identity of parents or guardians when granting their children access to utilize features that collect personal information,” thanks to this new addition to the firm.
Once a parent has been verified through the system, they will receive what Epic refers to as the “ParentGraph,” which will make it easier to provide verification across other Epic games.
According to Epic, this approach not only protects children and parents but also “minimizes personal data processing” because the parent or guardian only has to provide their verification information once.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney couldn’t help but offer another explanation of the metaverse as part of the presentation. Sweeney stated, “The metaverse will be made up of many different types of experiences and will not be controlled by anyone firm.”
“This will necessitate that those of us working toward this future produce experiences that are not only interoperable but also consider the safety of our audiences, regardless of age. We think that by making KWS parent verification free, more developers will be able to provide safer digital experiences for their customers, while parents will be able to make the best decisions for their families.”
Children’s safety and online privacy have become a more pressing problem for federal regulators in recent weeks and years. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month on internal Facebook studies revealing that Instagram was aware of the social network’s negative impact on youngsters’ mental health.
TikTok paid the Federal Trade Commission about $6 million in 2019 for breaking a children’s privacy legislation known as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA.
Epic Games claims that making KWS free for developers, will make it easier for more enterprises to deliver kid-friendly services while conforming to standards such as COPPA.
“Regulators throughout the world have led the way by enacting rules like COPPA in the United States, the Children’s Code in the United Kingdom, and GDPR-K in Europe to make the internet safer for kids,” said Dylan Collins, creator of SuperAwesome, in a statement on Thursday.
“We share this ambition and want to make compliance a reality for developers and producers of all sizes,” says the company. Free parent verification is an important industry step toward making it easy for everyone to say yes to kid-friendly activities.”