SEOUL, Feb. 1 (Korea Bizwire) - U.S. video service provider Netflix that entered the South Korean market early this year lacks an adult verification system, making teenagers vulnerable to X-rated content, industry sources said Monday.
The Netflix site doesn’t have an adult authentication system, so a minor can use his or her parents’ credit card to open a Netflix account and gain unlimited access to adult-only content, according to the sources.
In contrast, other South Korean content providers verify whether users are adults by comparing their names with personal information provided by mobile phone carriers.
Netflix said it did not consider it necessary to adopt a stricter verification policy in South Korea, as credit cards are already issued only to adults.
“Netflix also operates a pin-code system that can ban minors’ access to regulated materials,” a Seoul-based spokesperson said, adding that the existing system also meets the country’s related rules.
The company’s categorization of contents also differs from South Korea’s standards, as the minimum age requirement for adult content on Netflix is 16. In contrast, the country applies two standards on such materials, with one imposing an age limit of 19, while the other limits the scope of theaters that can play the content.
“We are in discussion with local regulators such as the Korea Media Rating Board on the matter,” the official added. “If there are other requirements made by the authority, we are always open to follow them. Netflix does not impose a unilateral grading system on all countries.”
The U.S. giant holds around 75 million users around the globe in 190 countries. The company has not released the number of users per country, but the release of the service in Seoul has been cited as industry watchers as a significant change in the local video-streaming market.’