A child-rights approach to online age assurance and parental consent solutions.

Designing a system of child protection for the digital environment that is truly rights-respecting is an important task, and one that many families are calling for.

Prof Sonia Livingstone

euCONSENT has been chosen by Safe Online as one of the ten innovative projects to receive funding to tackle challenges in age assurance and online child sexual exploitation and abuse. This new funding will allow us to transition our project into live operation.

euCONSENT was a pilot project, funded by the European Commission for a period of 18 months. Its challenge was to demonstrate that it was possible for one age check to be used across multiple websites, without the user needing to take any further action, while preserving their privacy through anonymity.

The project also tackled the challenge of obtaining parental consent, where if a child proves to be under 13 – 16 years old (dependent on the law in the Member State), they also need their parent’s consent before they can agree to their personal date being processed.

2,000 adults and children participated in pilots where they visited up to three dummy websites – representing an alcohol delivery service, a dating site and a social media site, proving their age through a choice of methods to only the first site they opened.  Subsequently, sites were able to re-use that original age check without troubling the user any further.

In the next phase of the solution’s development, euCONSENT aims to see the network being used in live operations, allowing users of competing age assurance providers to navigate any website served by these providers without a new check.

euCONSENT ASBL, the non-profit NGO formed from the euCONSENT project, will now use the new funding to put into live operation extensions to the eIDAS infrastructure required to deliver its vision for a pan-European, open-system, secure and certified interoperable age verification and parental consent to access information society services.

Read findings report

Final project summary

Professor Sonia Livingstone, a leading expert on child rights in the digital age who heads LSE’s research team, explains:

“The challenge will be to serve children’s best interests by balancing their rights to protection and safety with their rights to participation, inclusion and privacy, among other rights. It’s great that this project will consult European children from the outset, and be guided by their views also in formulating the project results.”

LSE research activities

The focus of the LSE team is on ensuring that a child rights perspective is integral to the development of technological solutions. The team has used a rapid evidence review to assess the evidence on age verification and parental control solutions as grounded in the everyday lives of families and children. Particular attention is paid to illuminating the experiences of vulnerable, marginalised or at-risk children and families, for example, disabled children, those living in foster care, migrant or refugee children. The findings of the review have informed the development of system features and user requirements underpinning the technological solutions delivered by the partner organisations.


This research was funded by a grant from the European Commission: PPPA-AGEVER-01-2020: “Outline and trial an infrastructure dedicated to the implementation of child rights and protection mechanisms in the online domain.”

Project outputs

LSE team members


Professor Sonia Livingstone
Principal Investigator

Interests and expertise: media and everyday life; media audiences; children and digital media; media literacy; children’s rights in the digital environment; mediated participation; online risks, privacy and safety; media regulation in the public interest


Dr Mariya Stoilova
Research Officer

Interests and expertise: digital technologies, well-being, and family support; social change and transformations of intimate life; citizenship and social inequalities


Dr Svetlana Smirnova
Research Officer

Interests and expertise: self-tracking for health & wellness, health communication and nutritional practices, data collection, tracking routines, reflexivity surrounding personal data

Get in touch

We are happy to hear from you! If you want to learn more about the project, please get in touch via email. We can be reached at: 

Professor Sonia Livingstone at

Dr Mariya Stoilova at

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