Tru.ly’s Tech Takes a Crack at Verifying Online Identity for Liquor Websites, Gaming, Online Dating and More

11/3/11Follow @xconomy

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the restricted content.

“Put in an age, any age will do—we’re kind of saying that’s not good enough anymore,” says Gordon. He thinks those brands have it in their interest to require the age verification. “Given the technology available they need to make reasonable efforts [to curtail underage browsing on their sites],” he says. “This is the better way to do that.”

Gaming and social networking sites offering access to kids often require parents to input an online signature permitting their child to enter, and Gordon says the Tru.ly application program interface (API) could add a bit more legitimacy to these websites.

Tru.ly, a six-person company, has an API for matching up Social Security data in a private beta mode. The focus there is to ensure user identification in e-commerce purchases, online payments, and other financial transactions. To those terrified of their Social Security number ending up in a startup’s hands, don’t worry, says Gordon. The engine matches the data input against existing legal databases of government issued records, but doesn’t actually store any of it.

Looking further into the future, Tru.ly hopes to be able to verify driver’s licenses using a computer or mobile phone, and has some interest in the biometrics space. When I asked Gordon to elaborate on that, he declined, saying, “it’s too cool [to talk about] right now.”

Meanwhile, see if you can get your credentials with the age API and browse away on booze sites with a clear conscience.

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  • http://www.miicard.com James Varga

    Age is definately one of the hardest things to validate especially when using public / available data sources. I’m not sure about a first come first serve model in terms of protection however. We need to create ways of validating people based on only information they would know or have access too. More and more we are seeing the online identity area heat up and its great to see solutions like this. I know facebook itself is struggling with these issues. Again though – how do we know you are who you say you are if I can be you before you can be you?

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