While the first thought that may come to mind for these buttons is adult entertainment sites (e.g. online gambling), there are many more commonplace uses, such as online state services like applying for a driver’s license, ID registration, voting, buying alcohol or tobacco products online, and many more.
An even greater number of use cases becomes apparent once the problem is generalized from “prove you are at least eighteen years old” to “prove that you belong to a particular group,” where the group can be the group of people who are at least eighteen, the group of people who graduated from a particular university, the group of people that reside in a particular geographic region, and so on.
Regardless of the use case, remotely proving an aspect of one’s identity is a challenging but useful problem to solve. So, why do we still use the ineffective “click here” button? Well, like many things in life, the answer is complicated. A variety of factors, including technical, legal, and risk, have made solving this challenge a daunting task.