AVPA Pulls Support for CA AB 3080 After FSC Adds 'RTA' Provision

LOS ANGELES—The Age Verification Providers Association (AVPA), a trade group representing companies that develop age assurance tech, announced that it has pulled support for the controversial California bill AB 3080.

AB 3080 is the bipartisan age verification measure adopted by the California Assembly and introduced by Asm. Juan Alanis, a Republican from Modesto. This move comes after the adult industry trade group Free Speech Coalition (FSC) announced that it is withdrawing its opposition to AB 3080. Now before the Senate, FSC announced it was able to add amended language to the bill that significantly dialed it back into something more palatable. 

A statement from AVPA to Identity Week described the new language as an "ill-defined means of compliance for adult websites.” 

According to the coalition, the amendments to AB 3080  allow for the use of tags like the "Restricted to Adults" (RTA) label that is supported by the adult industry-backed Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP). 

Before the amendments, the bill required the use of sensitive, personally identifiable information and documents, including government identification, credit cards, or consumer databases.

Now, according to FSC Executive Director Alison Boden, platforms have additional options available to comply with AB 3080's age verification requirements. These options include the implementation of a system that relies on metadata and header response data that can be quickly picked up by safe search tech and parental control software.

The most commonly used meta tag in the adult internet ecosystem is ASACP's RTA label. RTA is used by literally thousands of websites, including the largest adult platforms in the world—Pornhub, Xvideos, xHamster, and more. 

“An operating system itself cannot designate a user as a minor; it is just software code. So, it needs to be a legal entity on whom this obligation is placed for this option to be implemented," says AVPA, which is led by Iain Corby.

Boden said, "The new language encourages compliance and acknowledges the work that the industry has done and will continue to do to prevent minors from accessing adult sites."

AB 3080 initially advanced out of the state Assembly with bipartisan support, the AVPA's backing, and the FSC's opposition. Now, the bill is before the state Senate, with neither group taking an overt stance for or against it.

Corby has previously told AVN that he welcomes cooperation with the adult industry trade organization.