Stories and insights from the world of digital identity
22nd September 2022, LONDON – Talent Clouds, a digital workforce management and employee vetting platform, has become the latest company to launch digital DBS checks with Yoti and the Post Office. Talent Clouds modernises workforce vetting by simplifying the complex and manual onboarding and workforce monitoring processes. These are especially burdensome for public services in regulated sectors such as education, care and health. The Talent Clouds platform enables employers to verify worker credentials safely and efficiently which in turn saves them time and money. Under new legislation, which came into effect from 6 April 2022, Right to Work and DBS checks can now be completed using an Identity Services Provider (IDSP). The guidelines are based on the new UK Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework, which aims to facilitate secure and trustworthy solutions around digital identity in the UK. Yoti and Post Office, the UK’s first certified IDSP, offer three inclusive options for a candidate to prove their identity and complete required DBS checks. They can do this online, through the Yoti or EasyID apps, or in person at their local Post Office branch. Enabling Basic, Standard and Enhanced DBS checks to be carried out this way supports remote and hybrid working practices, speeds up onboarding processes, reduces recruitment times, and improves the security and reliability of checks. British and Irish citizens who hold valid or expired passports will be eligible for these digital checks. Unlike the traditional and manual process, digital DBS checks allow candidates to prove their identity from any part of the country – removing geographic barriers to employment. Talent Clouds onboards and monitors employees in a safer way as they can confirm prospective candidates’ identities and eligibility using consistent and secure methods, and relieve pressure on HR teams to correctly check documents and store sensitive employee information. Talent Clouds, CEO, James Whittingham said, “We’re excited to partner with Post Office and Yoti to launch this new technology to transform how our customers verify their workers’ ID. This technology supports our vision for streamlining pre-employment checks to save our customers both money and time”. Elinor Hull, Identity Services Director at Post Office said, “We’re delighted that Talent Clouds is the latest company to harness the power of digital identity for DBS checks. With less paperwork, stronger security and a better onboarding and recruitment experience, the benefits of these digital policies are clear. There’s a growing desire from individuals for better experiences and this technology can fast track processes that historically have taken up significant time and effort. If any companies are on the fence about digital DBS checks, it’s time they embrace a better approach to identity verification, otherwise they risk falling behind and giving an edge to their competitors.” Notes to editors New government guidance on digital identity verification On 17th January 2022, the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) published updated guidance paving the way for Digital Identity Checks to be used as part of Basic, Standard and Enhanced DBS Checks. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has also released an update around Digital Identity Checks to verify Right to Work and other certifications. About Yoti and Post Office Yoti is a digital identity company that allows organisations to verify identities and trusted credentials online and in person. Yoti’s products span identity verification, age verification, document eSigning, access management, and authentication. In the UK, Yoti is partnered with Post Office to accelerate digital identity adoption with a national footprint spanning 11,500 Post Office branches, online and more. Over 12 million people have downloaded the free Yoti app globally. Yoti is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Polish. Yoti is certified to ISO/IEC 27001:2013 for ID Verification Services, ISAE 3000 (SOC 2) Type 2 certified for its technical and organisational security processes. About Talent Clouds Talent Clouds provide a digital platform to verify worker credentials safely and efficiently – saving you time and money to spend on frontline services. We move offline clunky processes online, which reduces onboarding times by over 95%, and reduces application entry errors to under 1% – enabling significant internal savings Offer a suite of over 15 checks to suit all needs – including DBS and employment history referencing. We integrate with your existing systems to remove need to duplicate data entry – providing a seamless user experience Our workforce monitoring system notifies you of any pending compliance concerns through our business health check tool We keep your records in one single view, ensuring you are audit ready and regulation compliant
The last few years gave employers a taste of how onboarding new starters remotely can speed up their hiring. At the start of the pandemic, the Home Office amended the guidance on right to work checks, allowing them to be performed via a video call. The temporary adjustment came after employers couldn’t physically check a candidate’s ID document to prove they could work in the UK. This workaround became incredibly popular, with HR and recruitment teams noticing increased efficiency, people getting into jobs faster and reduced recruitment times. After heavy lobbying from the recruitment industry and employers, the Home Office updated right to work guidance, making digital ID checks a permanent option from the 6th of April 2022. The new scheme falls under the DCMS’s (Department of Culture, Media and Sport) Identity and Attributes Trust Framework. This framework sets the rules and standards for organisations to carry out secure, trustworthy, and consistent digital identity checks. Employers can now use a certified digital identity service provider (IDSP) to digitise their ID checking process for right to work and DBS under this new framework. Despite this, challenges still exist, with some finding it difficult to determine if digital ID verification is truly the most cost-effective option for them. If you are undecided, here are five reasons why it’s time to embrace digital right to work checks in the pre-employment screening process. Avoid penalties and get better compliance A right to work check is necessary for all employees in the UK but many businesses see these checks as a simple box-ticking exercise. Unwittingly employing someone who doesn’t have the legal ability to work can have financial and reputational costs for a business. If a company is found guilty, it can be fined £20,000 for each illegal worker. However, being more diligent with checks has economic and social benefits, helping protect employees’ rights and preventing the exploitation of individuals. It can also help shield your employees, operations and reputation from damages. Protect your business against recruitment fraud For many, “fraud” is not necessarily something they believe can occur in recruitment. It’s typically associated with stolen credit cards or personal information used for forged credit card charges or illicit bank withdrawals. But recruitment fraud is a big problem both in the UK and internationally. A report by Crowe, in association with the University of Portsmouth, discovered that 80 per cent of 5,000 CVs checked included false information. Additionally, fake IDs being used to gain employment is a significant issue. The report uncovered that one organisation was providing over 3,000 counterfeit documents to people in the UK. It’s not just CVs and IDs being faked but certificates of qualifications too. In 2021 alone, Cifas members reported 226,000 instances of Identity Fraud to the National Fraud Database, and 39 per cent of filings made to the Internal Fraud Database were for false employment applications where the applicant had falsified their application which can include false qualifications. Employing a fraudulent candidate is a widespread issue that can affect any legitimate business. A mis-hire can not only be costly but can negatively impact company culture, reputation and customer relationships. Using a digital ID verification process is an easier and safer way to prove a new starter can legally work, and gives your HR and admin teams confidence that a candidate’s documents are genuine. That’s why making more robust checks a priority, with the help of an ID verification expert, can significantly reduce your exposure to data breaches and fight against identity theft. Safeguard employees’ personal information Current onboarding methods (seeing a new starter’s ID and gaining a photocopy) are time-consuming and can create a mountain of paperwork.. The chances of human error are also vastly increased. Checking an ID to determine its authenticity, and whether it’s tampered with or a fake, can be an intense process. Having HR and admin teams do the process manually also doesn’t guarantee accuracy every time – after all, it’s not their job to be fraud experts. Digital ID verification strengthens the process by supporting teams with a higher level of security and is much faster for new starters. They just take a photo of the front and back of their ID and then a selfie to verify their identity in real-time, saving valuable onboarding time. It also stops HR and admin teams from handling and storing sensitive information unsafely. Increase your talent pool HR and admin teams are seeking to embrace more automation in their recruitment and hiring processes, to help them reach more talent where the competition is high and provide a better candidate experience. Digitising right to work checks can help streamline the vetting process while ensuring that accurate hiring decisions are made. It allows you to reach a broader pool of applicants and removes geographic barriers to employment – people can prove their identity from any part of the country. Improve your hiring efficiency Partnering with an expert in digital ID verification can help you reach your growth objectives. A certified digital identity service provider (IDSP) can support HR teams in successfully hiring and onboarding at scale. Yoti and Post Office are the UK’s first certified digital identity service providers (IDSP). With our expertise in digital identity and Post Office’s vast experience helping people prove and manage their identity, we’re no ordinary IDSP. Our Digital ID and Post Office Easy ID app, Identity Verification service, and In-Branch Verification with the Post Office are the most comprehensive services available. Digital ID and Post Office Easy ID app The Yoti and EasyID app empower those who need to change jobs frequently with a reusable digital ID on their phone. They only need to verify their identity once with us. Afterwards, they can easily share their pre-verified identity details with a new employer. Identity verification service Embed our Identity verification service into your website or app to quickly onboard new starters with just an ID document and a selfie. In branch verification service Those who would prefer to receive human assistance can have their documents scanned and verified at a Post Office using our In-Branch verification service. With our three inclusive approaches, employers can help people complete ID verification for right to work and DBS checks in a more accessible, convenient way. We’re ready to change the game. It’s time to embrace a better approach. It’s time to go digital. Get in touch with us.
We’re immensely proud to be working with Childline and the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) as part of our ongoing commitment to child protection. It’s been just over a year since we officially launched Report Remove, a tool to help young people report explicit images of themselves on the internet. To use the tool, a young person needs to prove they are under 18. Yoti gives a young person a private and safe way to prove their age, without needing to show ID documents or share personal data. We’re delighted that our tech is helping to make a difference in protecting children online. Solving a growing problem There’s lots of positives of being online – we can stay in touch with friends and family, access information to enhance learning, listen to music, watch films and so much more. However there are times when caution is needed to promote safe use of the online world. One of the risks is when explicit images (sometimes called nudes or semi-nudes) of young people appear online. The reasons why explicit images are taken can vary, and can include being peer pressured, blackmailed, groomed by an adult, dared to take one, to taking images to build self-esteem or as part of a friendship or relationship. Whatever the reason, losing control of an image can bring a mix of emotions for a young person, some of which can be difficult to cope with. Last year, the IWF annual report reported an increase in the number of self-generated child sexual abuse images, most likely due to lockdown as many people spent more time at home and were socially restricted. These images were predominantly of 11-13 year old girls, in their bedrooms or another room in a home setting. In 2021/2022, Childline delivered 234 counselling sessions in which young people spoke about the removal of online sexual images. This was a 19% increase compared to the previous year. NSPCC’s Childline partnered with the IWF to create a tool for young people to report sexually explicit images of themselves on the internet to see if they could be taken down. And for the IWF to remove the image they need to check if the person is under 18. Once captured, explicit images could be posted online and recirculated for years after they were originally created. This is a form of sexual abuse that can be very distressing and have a detrimental impact on a young person’s emotional and mental wellbeing. The NSPCC has received reports from young people saying they feel scared or worried after sending a nude image. And there’s a real loss of control as they just don’t know where the image could appear and who else might have access to it. “What do I do if someone is threatening to post my nudes onto a website where everyone can see? I don’t send pictures like that at all, but then one night I got chatting with this guy online who I’d never met and he made me feel so good about myself – it felt like someone actually wanted me. He told me he was 15, even though deep down I didn’t believe him. I sent him a couple of nudes but then instantly regretted it. I asked him to delete the pics, but he just kept on making me do stuff for him not to post them – like getting me to strip live on camera.” (Girl, 15)* “I don’t know what I was thinking but I sent pictures of myself to this random guy online. He’s now threatening to post the pics on Facebook unless I send him more. I’m freaking out right now, I have no idea what to do. If anyone I know finds out about this, I swear my life will be ruined.” (Girl, 14)* No young person should have to feel this way. Report Remove is helping to protect children online We collaborated with Childline and the IWF to help create Report Remove. The first of its kind, the tool allows young people to report images or videos of themselves that have been shared, or they’re worried might be shared, online. To have a nude image removed, young people must verify that they are aged under 18. Childline and the IWF approached Yoti to see if there was a more private way for a young person to prove their age – one that didn’t rely on them uploading ID documents online or revealing lots of personal information. We’re committed to building tech for good, so we were delighted to be able to help. Once a young person has verified their age using Yoti, they can anonymously report the images and videos to the IWF. The IWF will then check if the content is criminal and, if it is, create a unique digital fingerprint known as a hash, which will be shared with tech companies to help prevent the image or video from being uploaded and shared. Report Remove provides a child-centred approach to image removal, one that can be done entirely online, accessed anytime and puts the young person back in control of their image. The tool is hosted on the Childline website, where young people can access further information, other self-help tools and emotional support from a counsellor. So where are we a year on? We can happily share that many young people have already used Report Remove to see if nude images of them can be removed from the internet, putting control back into their hands and bringing peace of mind and reassurance that their image will no longer be online or be seen by others. Susie Hargreaves OBE, IWF CEO said, “We’re so proud to have created a way for children and young people to regain a sense of control and empowerment. Report Remove, being a world-first, meant we needed to overcome many legal and ethical considerations and think creatively about how to deliver a child-centred tool which works. “Our determination and strong partnerships with Childline and Yoti meant that we succeeded. We haven’t finished, however, as challenges remain. Helping to build awareness among young people that this service is there for them is crucial. And as technology emerges and shifts, we too must keep up to ensure children and young people get the support they deserve.” Cormac Nolan, Service Head of Childline Online said, “At Childline we know that having a nude image shared online without their permission can have a huge impact on a child, and often affect their mental health. “Some children might blame themselves and feel ashamed and embarrassed, whilst others might be afraid to speak out because they are worried about the potential repercussions. “That’s why Report Remove is such an important tool as it provides young people with a way to try and help them regain control over what is happening and get illegal content erased. “With Yoti’s help, anyone under 18 can use the app safely and confidentially in the knowledge that IWF and Childline will do everything possible to remove the content and support that young person moving forward.” We’re immensely proud to be working with Childline and the IWF as part of our ongoing commitment to child protection. This is the perfect example of how our leading age verification technology can make life better for young people and support organisations committed to helping young people online. Please get in touch for further information or to arrange a demo. *All names and potentially identifying details have been changed to protect the identity of the child or young person. Quotes are created from real Childline service users but are not necessarily direct quotes from the young person.
We joined forces with the team at Play Verto for an exciting piece of research to understand what young people thought about facial age estimation technology. Facial age estimation accurately estimates a person’s age based on a selfie. We built it to give everyone a secure way to prove their age without sharing their name or an ID document. The technology can help businesses to create age-appropriate experiences. It can prevent kids from accessing age-restricted content and platforms, and prevent adults from entering platforms for children and engaging with a younger demographic. The results Play Verto reached out to parents and teachers of children between the ages of 9 to 14, to gain their consent to allow the children to take part in the research. Of the 247 children who participated, 2 in 5 claim to have lied about their age online either sometimes, or frequently. 10.5% expressed doing it on a regular basis. This demonstrates why better age verification is needed, and the role this can play in protecting young people online. 50% were curious about how the technology estimates their age. Over four fifths (84.6%) of children said they do understand why websites check age. In regards to facial age estimation, 67.5% understood what the selfie was for and how it would be used. 88.3% said they found the instructions to use facial age estimation easy to understand. It’s very encouraging that despite facial age estimation being new, 62% of children said they were either likely or very likely to use it again. In most cases they found the technology easy to use and understand, and 50% were curious to understand how it could estimate their age. Even though they were not the intended respondents of the research, a number of parents decided to answer the questions on facial age estimation. In the interests of transparency we’ve included these results too. Of the 126 adults, 92.1% said the instructions to use facial age estimation were easy to understand. The vast majority (90.5%) said they understood what the selfie was for and how it would be used. 16% did not want to have their selfie taken. We acknowledge that more needs to be done to reassure those who are unsure about this part of facial age estimation. Conclusion “We concluded that there is a need for accurate age estimation technology to become amply used on the internet to protect young children from accessing inappropriate material for their age. There was some hesitation from a small percentage of adults about having their selfie taken. We advise Yoti to reassure individuals that as soon as their age has been estimated, their selfie is deleted. We feel it is also important to educate parents, guardians and caregivers about the benefits of facial age estimation and the important role it can play in protecting children online.” Michael Sani, CEO Play Verto. “Some well known, global brands are using our facial age estimation to help provide age appropriate experiences online, to ensure young people cannot access 18+ content, and to provide parental consent on behalf of children. As this latest research with Play Verto shows, both young people and adults find facial age estimation easy to use and understand. It is the private, safe and easy way to prove your age.” Julie Dawson, Director of Regulation and Policy at Yoti. If you would like to learn more about age estimation, you can read our FAQs or feel free to get in touch.
As we go about our social purpose work we regularly get to speak to local, national and international non-profit organisations. Over the years, we’ve found that many struggle to understand the many ways digital identity solutions might help them in their work. As part of our wider efforts to help the sector make sense of the technology, today we’re publishing the last in a series of articles looking at the use of digital identities in six different humanitarian and environmental settings. Please note that, while the technology use case is real, the scenarios are hypothetical in nature, and the projects do not exist as stated. Location Malawi Scenario Security for Curio Traders Background Visitors to Malawi are spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting authentic curios and souvenirs to take home with them. Apart from locally produced paintings, baskets and batiks, there are countless beautiful wooden carvings that are made on site and sold to visitors. Malawi has always been known for its talented wood carvers who create a diversity of sculptures and plaques depicting mostly African scenery, people and animals. Carved pieces by Malawian artists can be found in Buckingham Palace and the Vatican Museum, as well as in several churches in western countries, where they decorate the walls. Wood carving is a traditional Malawian art form and a skill that is passed from fathers to sons. Selling the pieces to tourists is a way for many families to earn a living as the ornate detail and beauty of the indigenous hardwoods from which they are made, are prized by tourists. Curio vendors have been assisted by the Malawian government, building markets in which the vendors may display their wares and conduct business. This has resulted in improved sales as the vendors do not need to pack up their wares and take them away each evening or cease business during times of inclement weather. The government promotes wood carving as a potential earner of foreign exchange through exports and a generator of income for poor Malawians. Challenge Since early 2020, the curio vendors in Malawi have suffered serious financial setbacks. With the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, international borders have been closed and tourism has ground to a halt. Some vendors have given up and moved back to rural areas where they hope to cultivate enough food to stave off starvation. Others remain at the markets where they spend the days polishing dust off their carvings and hoping that someone will come along and purchase something that day. A group of struggling vendors have got together to explore the possibility of sending small consignments of carvings to neighbouring South Africa which has a much larger and more affluent population. They hope that there will be a market for their goods, despite the current travel restrictions. Unfortunately, none of the men have passports and they have reservations about trusting an unknown transporter who may cross the border with their carvings and never be seen again. Solution The curio vendors set up a network of trusted members using certain digital identifiers. Members include wood carvers and potential transporters with driving licences and vehicles. To become a member, an individual must produce two significant pieces of identity documentation. These could be a national ID card, bank card, birth certificate, marriage certificate, driver’s licence or personal testimony from a village head. The documentation is photographed and stored in a database which also includes a photograph of the face of each member. Thereafter, members can identify themselves as authentic, bona fide traders using their photographs. This system would allow a registered and known transporter to collect a consignment of high-quality curios from verified members of the group. The transporter may agree to pay a sum of money as a deposit before leaving for the border with the curios. Once the curios have been sold to retailers in South Africa, the customs fees and transporter’s costs can be deducted and the remainder of the income paid to the Malawian vendors before the next consignment is collected. Read our other scenarios on how digital identity might: be used to monitor food and cash rations be used to help make cross-border trading easier help protect endangered southern ground hornbills in Zimbabwe promote education in Angola improve maternity and childcare in Kenya
25th August 2022 – GreenGrowth, the sustainable investment app, has partnered with digital identity provider Yoti, to give individual investors a modern way to prove their identity. When an individual creates a GreenGrowth account, they will no longer have to provide physical ID documents or go through a lengthy process to prove who they are. By using Yoti and their partner Post Office for digital identity verification, GreenGrowth can streamline the onboarding process, improve the customer experience, and strengthen KYC and AML checks. Under Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules GreenGrowth must check the identity of individuals and ensure they are eligible to invest capital. With Yoti and Post Office, all identity checks can be completed digitally – saving time, enhancing security and giving investors a more convenient way to prove who they are. GreenGrowth is a sustainable investment app, empowering individuals to invest their money in a way that can help solve the biggest environmental challenges. Individuals can invest in underlying sustainable funds across a range of five impactful, environmental themes such as clean energy and sustainable agriculture. Chris Webb, CEO of GreenGrowth said, ‘We’re a technology first business, and so we’re delighted to partner with a like-minded business like Yoti. They’ve helped us streamline our onboarding process, making it as simple as possible for our users to get onboarded in the app, so they can start making a positive impact with their money as soon as possible!’ John Abbott, Chief Commercial Officer at Yoti, said, “As a BCorp, balancing planet and profit is very important to us. So we’re delighted to be working with GreenGrowth, who also believe it’s possible to do good and consider the impact on the planet. Our identity verification technology will improve their customer onboarding experience, speed up processes which historically took up time and effort, and ensure GreenGrowth is compliant with FCA rules. Our automated process speeds up verification for Green Growth users, who can focus on what’s important; choosing which sustainable GreenGrowth fund to invest in.” About GreenGrowth GreenGrowth is a new sustainable investing app that allows users to invest in underlying sustainable funds across a range of 5 impactful, environmental themes  such as clean energy and sustainable agriculture. Their mission is to give people’s money the greatest personal impact. After measuring a user’s carbon footprint via an in-app questionnaire, the user can then invest into corresponding environmentally-themed funds weighting them more heavily into the areas they are most polluting. Alternatively, investors can select themes that tackle their particular environmental objectives. It’s available to download now on Apple and Android. About Yoti Yoti is a digital identity company that allows organisations to verify identities and trusted credentials online and in person. Yoti’s products span identity verification, age verification, document eSigning, access management, and authentication. Over 11 million people have downloaded the free Yoti app globally. Yoti is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Polish. Yoti is certified to ISO/IEC 27001:2013 for ID Verification Services, ISAE 3000 (SOC 2) Type 2 certified for its technical and organisational security processes.