If you’ve ever visited a beer, wine or liquor website, you’ve been faced with an age verification page. It adds an annoying three additional steps ― month, date, year ― before you can get to the information you want to reach. And half of the time, folks don’t even bother entering their actual birthday. You can’t really stop an underaged visitor from lying, so what’s the point?
If a company is actually selling alcohol online, age verification would make sense ― it’s akin to showing your ID ― but age verification on a website that only talks about alcohol is a little confusing.
We reached out to Marvin Cable, who teaches internet law and policy for the University of Massachusetts ― and who is also a policy expert in the field of drug and alcohol law and marijuana reform activism― to explain why this happens.