A look back on 2022

profile picture Rachael Trotman 7 min read

In a year where life feels like it’s in full flow again, so does Yoti! We continue to be the most downloaded Digital ID in the world, but that’s just half the story of our 2022. 

We’ve been busy teaming up with some of the world’s biggest social media platforms, got ourselves accepted in cinemas across the UK, and became the first certified digital identity service provider under the UK Digital Identity & Attributes Trust Framework for Right to Work, Right to Rent and criminal records checks. That and much more!

Here’s a look back on what’s been going on with us this year…

 

Created age-appropriate experiences online 

Together with some of the biggest social media platforms, we’ve made lots of positive changes to keep children safe online. Meta are using our facial age estimation technology to deliver age-appropriate experiences on Instagram and Facebook Dating. And with 81% of users on Instagram choosing facial age estimation over uploading an ID document, it’s proving to be the most popular way to verify age online.

Social network app Yubo started asking first-time users signing up for an account, or existing users who haven’t yet been verified, to confirm their age with our facial age estimation technology. By being able to know who is a child, young users can safely explore the platform and make friends with people in the same age group.

OnlyFans also introduced our technology to protect children and ensure underage users cannot access the platform, which further bolsters the existing identity verification measures OnlyFans already has in place in the UK.

Two mobile screens showing the user journey of Instagram’s “Video Selfie” age verification powered by Yoti age estimation technology

Completed millions of age checks 

Our facial age estimation is being used globally by a wide range of social, gaming, ecommerce, adult, gaming and retail organisations. To date, we have completed over 570 million age checks using our privacy-preserving technology, and have the ability to scale to tens of millions of age checks every day. 

 

Campaigned for a safer internet

Our Chief Policy & Regulatory Officer, Julie Dawson, attended the annual FOSI 2022, hosted by the non-profit Family Online Safety institution (FOSI). She led a lively panel discussion with Google and Kantar experts on recent FOSI research that looks at parents’ and childrens’ awareness, attitudes, and behaviours towards age assurance, exploring who’s responsible for monitoring what children see online and how much their privacy is protected. Julie was also invited to speak at Meta’s Summit on Youth Safety and Well-Being where she spoke with Meta Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan on the importance of getting age verification right. 

For us, speaking at events is about more than just taking part. It’s a chance to show that purposefully designed technology can provide safer, age-appropriate experiences online.

 

Approved by regulators and named by the French President’s wife

Our facial age estimation technology can play an important role in protecting young people and improving online safety, so we were thrilled when it was approved by the German regulator, KJM, for the highest level of age assurance. This means it can be used for 18+ adult content. 

President Macron launched his international innovation lab on the protection of children in a high-level meeting with a selection of platforms and NGOs at Elysée Palace. In the meeting, Brigitte Macron asked Meta directly, very intrigued whether their implementation of Yoti’s facial age estimation technology to assess the age of minors worked. Meta confirmed our technology was helping to create age-appropriate experiences for young people. Merci! 

 

Completed a summer of supermarket trials 

Things heated up this summer when we had a number of supermarkets trialling our technology. Shoppers purchasing alcohol could simply look at a camera on the self-checkout, or use the Yoti or EasyID Digital ID app, to verify their age instead of waiting for assistance.

 

Created safer gaming experiences

We teamed up with Regal Gaming technologies to solve the challenge of age verification in the offline world too. As the UK’s leading provider of gaming machines to the leisure and hospitality industry, they’re committed to helping staff create safer gambling experiences.  With our technology in their gaming machines, customers now have two ways to prove their age digitally – with a real-time selfie or using our reusable Digital ID apps.

Became the first certified provider for digital Right to Work checks  

Yoti and Post Office became the first to be a certified digital identity service provider (IDSP) under the UK Digital Identity & Attributes Trust Framework, for Right to Work, Right to Rent and criminal records checks. This announcement marked the first time that a digital identity app has been approved by the UK government. 

Since being certified, we have been selected by over 600 companies for digital Right to Work checks from industries spanning retail, technology, financial services, charities and universities. We have also partnered with the majority of the world’s major employment screening companies including uCheck, First Advantage, Verifile, Hire Right, People Check, Talent Clouds and Sterling Check who have all embraced the digital checks and now offer employers and candidates a faster and more secure method of verifying identity documents.

Tweet by the Post Office News team that announces that we’re the first certified identity service provider to perform digital; Right to Work, Right to Rent and criminal records checks.

Over 13 million Digital ID app downloads

This year, we reached over 13 million app downloads and continue to be the most downloaded Digital ID in the world.

 

Digital IDs became accepted at UK Cinemas

UK cinemas started to accept the Yoti and EasyID apps as proof of age. Young people aged 13+ now have a safer, more convenient way to prove their age when watching age-restricted films – meaning that important ID documents, such as passports, can now be left at home. They no longer need to worry about keeping their passport safe and can instead focus on whether the popcorn should be sweet or salty.

A Tweet from the BBC News team announcing that UK cinemas now accept our digital ID apps

In other news…

  • We were awarded 5th place out of 3,000 in the Top 100 Startups, Businesses, and Entrepreneurs in 2022 by TechRound, the UK’s fastest growing startup and tech news site.
  • We celebrated amazing partnerships including THG Ingenuity, Fluttr, Further, Department of Trust, Preloved and many others. 
  • As part of our ongoing work to protect young people, we helped check the age of attendees at the summer garden party of Mosaic LGBT+ Young Persons’ Trust. The event was for under 18s, so attendees were asked to show ID or prove their age with our facial age estimation technology. This helped safeguard the event, ensuring only those of the right age attended. 

There’s so much we’re proud of this year. We can’t wait to see what 2023 has in store.