Feature descriptors work similarly to content descriptors but describe features. As features and functionality more and more play a role in age rating, it is also possible to include information about features in the age.xml.
Several classification schemes of rating bodies use feature descriptors to give additional information about the features and the reason for a specific age rating. Feature descriptors can be useful for Parental Control Systems, giving parents the choice what kind of features they decide are suitable for their minors and giving better information on blocking pages.
Feature descriptors are based on the MIRACLE data model backed by the European Union.
While age rating with a “number” is mandatory to allow Parental Control Systems (PCS) the decision whether to block a website or single webpage or not, feature descriptors are recommended to improve the possibilities of PCS and give parents more choices. Nevertheless the block <feature‐descriptors> is not mandatory.
How to install feature descriptors? Use the label generator!
The easiest way to install feature descriptors is to use our label generator (see: "Tools"). The generator will include feature descriptors in the age.xml and in age-xx.xml if necessary, and will also generate a MIRACLE file containing the descriptors.
Feature descriptors by hand
To allow Parental Control Systems to use feature descriptors, you should use the feature descriptors from the MIRACLE standard that are already pre-defined. If necessary, you can also add custom feature descriptors. Pre-defined are
- Inapppurchase - The service contains elements enabling the consumer to purchase additional content or functionality, regardless of whether the app itself was acquired for free or not <fd-inapppurchase-exist>
- Personal data sharing - The service gives its provider (or a third party) access to personal data such as home address, contact details or bank account numbers <fd-personaldatasharing-exist>
- Location data sharing - The service contains the option to share exact location on a map when using the service. The location information may be shared publicly or with a specific network inside the service or beyond.
- Chat - The service includes an option for a user to chat with other users via the app. These users may operate under a pseudonym or anonymously.
All feature descriptors are not mandatory. If a type of feature does not exist, you can either not show the descriptor or set it to false. If you decide on “false”, there should be no feature of this type on the website even if this was not the reason for the age rating.
It is possible to give a description of the marked feature (short text) and to include an URL to an icon. Both are not mandatory.
Custom feature descriptors
Using <fd-other> tag you can include your own feature descriptors. Using a class, e.g. <fd-add class=”somefeature”>, you must provide a name for the custom feature descriptors. See the example below to learn how it is used.
Be aware that common Parental Control Systems will not be able to process your custom feature descriptors in a reasonable way unless you have talked to the provider of a Parental Control System.
Open text feature descriptors
Using <fd‐opentext> tag you can include a short text explaning the feature and the effect for the age rating. This text may be used by Parental Control Systems e.g. as an informational text on blocking pages. See example to learn how opentext feature descriptors are used.
Example of an age.xml block <feature‐descriptors>
<fd-opentext-desc class=”infotext”>some text</fd-opentext-desc>
Note: Content descriptors work in a similar way (see section "content descriptors").