New Law on the Protection of Youth in the Fields of Film and Video Games (JSFVG) in Switzerland
In an increasingly digitalized world, the protection of youth faces constant challenges. Online streaming services and digital distribution platforms have made it easier to access movies and video games. However, age rating alone is often not a barrier for minors to view content that is not suitable for their age.
It is therefore crucial that youth protection measures also apply to online content and that their enforcement is guaranteed. In this regard, Switzerland has already taken measures to ensure that movies and video games are subject to age-appropriate regulation.
The new draft law on the protection of youth in Switzerland
Across Switzerland, all cinemas, video game fairs and (online) stores selling movies and video games will soon be required to provide age labels and controls. Streaming services will then also have to protect minors from unsuitable content.
The new federal law aims to ensure the protection of youth from potentially harmful media content in movies and video games. In particular, it addresses the depiction of violence, sexuality and threatening scenes. The new law will require all cinemas, retailers, online retailers and on-demand services nationwide to introduce age labels and controls. In addition, providers of platform services for videos or video games (e.g. YouTube, Twitch) will also be held responsible.
As early as September 30, 2022, the National Council and Council of States passed the Federal Act on the Protection of Minors in the Areas of Film and Video Games (JSFVG). In its meeting of June 16, 2023, the Swiss Federal Council released the corresponding ordinance for consultation. Whereby the parliament has already accepted the Federal Council's proposal in the most important points. The consultation runs until October 6, 2023 and it is expected that the new law will take effect from then on.
Here you can find the official media release.
Requirements for age control
According to the law, age control will be limited to a check of the age of majority and will only be required if content is made available on a platform that is unsuitable for youth.
The following two requirements must be set by the age verification system according to the draft JSFVG:
1. Prior to the first use of an on-demand service, the age of the person who wishes to set up an account must be verified through appropriate procedures. Reasonable procedures are those that generally allow an accurate determination of age for an individual case.
2. If the person seeking to set up an account with an on-demand service is a minor, the service must be restricted in accordance with the applicable age requirements. The restriction must not be able to be lifted by the youth.
How to solve new legal challenges with PXL Visions Auto ID
PXL Ident is the web-based Auto-Ident process from PXL Vision. It enables document verification including age verification that is appropriate according to the requirements of the draft regulation.
During the account creation process, digital verification of an identity document can be used to verify the age and, if required, the identity of the user. This will ensure that underaged cannot create accounts that grant access to age-restricted content.
Specifically, age verification can work as follows:
PXL Ident performs age verification via simple document scanning by validating users' date of birth with trusted data sources, such as government identification documents or age verification databases. This process ensures, for example, via consistency checks of the machine-readable zone (MRZ) or document property (e.g., driver's license) of an ID card, that only people over the legal minimum age can access age-restricted content.
Data protection and data economy: PXL enables age verification while adhering to the principle of data economy. No data need be collected that is not required for the verification of the age of majority.
Why PXL Ident?
PXL Ident from the Swiss market leader for identity verification can be quickly and easily integrated into existing apps and browsers and can be used as a cloud or on-premise solution.
The advantages of our age verification with PXL Ident at a glance:
- User-friendly interface
- Can be integrated into apps and browsers
- Can be used as a cloud or on-premise solution
- Ready to use after one week
It is important to note that online age verification solutions are instrumental in mitigating underage age verification misrepresentation. However, they should be implemented in conjunction with other measures such as education and parental guidance to ensure a comprehensive approach to protecting minors from inappropriate content.
By deploying online age verification solutions, platforms and service providers can improve their ability to enforce age restrictions and promote responsible access to age-restricted content. This creates a safer digital environment for young people.