Developers can use Epic Games’ Kids Web Services system for free through Epic Online Services. KWS allows developers to verify the identity of parents or guardians so that the developers can process personal data of children.
Epic Games says it’s making KWS available for free so that more developers can create “secure digital experiences” while giving parents more options to make “the right choices.” At KWS, parents or guardians create a ParentGraph, depending on how you create such a ParentGraph per region. In the United States, for example, someone creates such a ParentGraph by dividing the last four digits of the Social Security Number, or by making a fifty-cent payment via a credit or debit card.
Once parents or guardians have created a ParentGraph, they do not have to re-authenticate every time a child needs permission. According to Epic Games, this is easier for parents and removes a barrier when they want to allow processing of children’s data.
The ParentGraph is needed if, when creating an account, a developer finds out that a player is younger than sixteen years old. According to privacy legislation, a publisher may only process personal data if a parent has given permission for this. When creating an account, children are asked to enter an email address of a parent or guardian. This parent or guardian will then receive an email asking which data it concerns and what it will be used for.
Epic Games got its hands on KWS with its acquisition of SuperAwesome last year. According to Epic, KWS is now used by many games and is also used when creating an Epic Games account. Among others, Among Us uses KWS.