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Danyaal Yasin

Facebook Dating introduces age verification with Yoti to create age appropriate experiences

Facebook Dating introduces age verification with Yoti to create age appropriate experiences

Facebook Dating introduces age verification test to help continue preventing teens from accessing the 18+ experience Meta continues to work with Yoti who specialise in privacy-preserving ways to verify age   The move follows age verification being introduced on Instagram earlier this year    5th December 2022, London, UK – Today, Facebook Dating has introduced age verification to verify that only adults are using the service and to help prevent teens from accessing it. This will initially be for people based in the US. Digital identity company Yoti will provide one of the age assurance tools, to ensure only adults can access the 18+ experience.  If Meta’s age detection technology finds potential discrepancies in the age someone provides and their suspected age, they will be prompted to verify their age. There will be two options to do this: upload an ID document or use Yoti’s facial age estimation technology. Providing people with more than one option allows them to select a method that best fits their needs and preferences.  Facebook Dating is the first online dating platform to introduce Yoti’s facial age estimation technology in the US to verify the age of users. The move follows age verification being introduced on Instagram earlier this year.  Julie Dawson, Yoti Chief Policy & Regulatory Officer said, “Enabling young people to thrive and be safe online is of the utmost importance. So we’re delighted to continue our work with Meta to create age appropriate experiences, this time on Facebook Dating. Daters can have greater confidence in who they are meeting online, and most importantly, young people will be better protected from accessing inappropriate content and experiences.” Erica Finkle, Meta Director of Data Governance said, “Our age verification tests show that our tools are working to help keep young people within age-appropriate experiences, and we’re proud to partner with Yoti to provide people with simple to use options that respect their privacy.” Yoti facial age estimation is a privacy-preserving solution that estimates someone’s age from a selfie. It was built to give everyone a secure way to prove their age without sharing their name or ID document. All images are instantly deleted once someone receives their estimated age.  Notes to editors: In June 2022, Meta introduced age verification to Instagram users in the US. If someone attempts to edit their date of birth on Instagram from under the age of 18 to 18 or over, they are required to verify their age. They can do this by uploading an ID document or using Yoti’s facial age estimation technology. Age verification was expanded to Instagram in other countries following the success in the US – including the UK, Europe, Brazil and India.  Yoti Facial Age Estimation whitepaper – https://www.yoti.com/wp-content/uploads/Yoti-Age-Estimation-White-Paper-Executive-Summary-May-2022.pdf

3 min read
Louisiana Age Verification Law: Arriving 2023

Louisiana Age Verification Law: Arriving 2023

A new Louisiana law will allow parents to take legal action against companies that do not have reasonable age verification in place to keep minors out of porn sites and other sites containing harmful material. The law focuses on pornography, citing that “advances in technology, the universal availability of the internet, and limited age verification requirements” have created a public health crisis.  The Louisiana Age Verification law will come into effect on 1st January 2023. It’s a significant milestone and demonstrates the important role an increasing number of lawmakers and regulators want age verification to play in keeping children safe online. So what does it mean exactly?    The Louisiana Age Verification Law Websites won’t be required to have age verification systems, but it does allow the State of Louisiana to sue websites that “contain a substantial portion” of porn, and do not have verification in place, therefore putting minors at risk. These sites will be held liable if they fail to check the age of individuals attempting to access the content on their website.  Importantly, the law also states that these spaces  “shall not retain any identifying information of the individual after access has been granted to the material.” Technology now exists to let individuals prove they are the right age to access age-restricted content and platforms, without the need to share lots of personal information.    Privacy-preserving age verification We have a range of age verification solutions available, which allow companies to check their users are the right age, without retaining any personal information.  Currently, a driver’s licence or other state-issued identification such as a digitised identification card are needed to access these sites in Louisiana. Our leading, facial age estimation gives everyone a secure and privacy preserving way to prove their age, without sharing their name or any ID documents. Yoti’s free Digital ID app allows individuals to just share a verified age attribute, such as ‘over 18’, and doesn’t share any personal details.  We already support a number of the world’s largest adult sites and social media platforms. We have performed over 550 million checks using our facial age estimation, and we are the leading global provider of age assurance. Our checks have reached across retail, gaming, gambling, dating, social media, telecoms, live streaming, vaping, ecommerce and adult content services. Enabling young people to thrive and be safe online is so important to us. Age verification can help do this, creating age-appropriate experiences that mean children have a safer, more positive digital life.  If you’d like to learn more about our age verification technology, please get in touch.

3 min read
Robin Tombs Named Amongst the Startup Elite in the Top 100 Startups, Businesses, and Entrepreneurs in 2022

Robin Tombs Named Amongst the Startup Elite in the Top 100 Startups, Businesses, and Entrepreneurs in 2022

November 30, 2022, LONDON, United Kingdom – We are delighted to announce that Robin Tombs, CEO of Yoti, has been awarded fifth place in the Top 100 Startups, Businesses, and Entrepreneurs in 2022 by TechRound, the UK’s fastest growing startup and tech news site. The competition followed a round of judging from an expert panel: James Mercer (tayp), Stephanie Affleck (Little Fashion House), Alex Buttle (Motorway), Jeffrey Faustin (Jenson Funding Partners), and Sabrina Chevannes (Complex Creative). The judges said: “With just over 3,000 applications this year, we were all blown away by the quality of entries including startups that operate in multiple countries and have raised vast amounts through funding rounds.” Robin Tombs, CEO of Yoti said: “I am delighted that Yoti has been named in TechRound’s Top 100 list, and to have been included alongside so many stand out and inspiring businesses and entrepreneurs. We are honoured to take 5th place out of 3,000 entries, showing the significant impact and importance of digital identity and age verification in today’s world. The competition was fierce and we congratulate our fellow winners and offer best wishes to all of the 3,000 start up ventures.” Yoti was named in the Top 10 alongside Simon Hansford of Itero Technologies, Ashay Bhave of Thaely, Sheila Hogan of Biscuit Tin, Jenny Saft and Tobias Kaufhold of Apryl, Simon Hudson of Cheeze, Tom Home of blOKes, Emma Kay of WalkSafe, Thomas (Hal) Robson-Kanu of The Turmeric Co. and Caroline Casey of The Valuable 500.   Notes to editors About Yoti Yoti is a digital identity technology company that makes it safer for people to prove who they are, verifying identities and trusted credentials online and in-person. They now provide verification solutions across the globe, spanning  identity verification, age verification, document eSigning, access management, and authentication. In the UK, Yoti has 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 across the world. It 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. For more information, please visit www.yoti.com.

2 min read
Life without a Digital ID

Life without a Digital ID

We use our phones for more than just a phone call. They’re our wallet, radio, encyclopaedia, and personal cinema. If we can do almost everything with our phones, why not use them as our ID?  A Digital ID is your ID on your phone and your data in your hands, replacing your physical documents, and giving you a smarter way to show your ID. Once you’ve created it, you’ll be ready to prove your age, protect your passwords and connect with confidence online.  With the popularity of Digital IDs continuing to grow and being accepted in more places, it becomes increasingly hard to imagine a future without Digital IDs. But let’s try…   Holding up the checkout queue  Picture the scene, you’re hosting a party for your friends and it’s your turn to get the drinks in. You’ve already been around the supermarket, filled your basket with snacks and drinks for later, waited in line and scanned your items through the checkout. It’s ID time but it’s in your sock drawer at home instead of in your hands.  The store assistant is coming over and when you’re asked to show some ID, it will be game over. You’ll be going home but the case of beer and bottles of bubbly won’t. If you were planning to grab some Paracetamol for the following morning, that will also have to wait. Without your Digital ID, the pain points for your weekly shop soon stack up. Why make life difficult for yourself? With your ID on your phone, you can breeze through the self-checkout like you’re on an episode of supermarket sweep. No more waiting for assistance, being turned away or facing an awkward conversation with the store attendant.   New(ish) phone, who is this? You’ve been on the lookout for that new iPhone for so long and you’ve finally found it! You’re going to buy a second-hand one online and meet up with the seller to exchange the money and get your new-ish phone in person.  But you start having doubts about the seller as they seem shady. What if it’s a scam? How can you be sure they are legit? You don’t want to be a nuisance and ask them for some kind of proof or evidence, so you take the risk and go ahead with the exchange. After all, scams affect other people, not you… You meet up in the agreed public place, they bring the phone, and it’s just what you were looking for – so you hand over the money, and the deal’s done. Thankfully, this time it all worked out but who’s to say the next second-hand deal goes as smoothly?  A Digital ID takes care of any of those initial doubts either of you may have had about the other person, as you could have asked the seller to swap verified information with you ahead of meeting up.    Trouble catching a catfish  Love is in the air. You’ve met someone on a dating app and it’s all going so well.  Trust is at the centre of all relationships, and it should be no different online. You feel like you know this person but recently, things haven’t been stacking up. They were really reluctant when you asked to see some snaps from their latest holiday, and they always seem busy when you ask to meet up.  How can you be sure they are who they say they are? What if it’s another Tinder Swindler situation? You’ve read about romance fraud being one of the most prolific ways scammers target people, with hopeless romantics scammed out of nearly £100m last year. You can’t afford to risk losing your savings.  It seems like the only way to protect your heart and your finances is to stop chatting with people online, but this doesn’t have to be the case.  With the Yoti or Easy ID apps, you can verify who you’re speaking with, such as via the Fluttr app, the UK’s first dating app that requires users to be verified. With full biometric ID verification available from Yoti, users can swipe in peace, knowing exactly who they’re chatting with.    FOMO on nights out We’ve all been there – you’ve planned a big night out with your pals, you’ve paid for the surge-priced taxi and you’re ready to hit the dancefloor. You’re not ready to show your ID though… You’ve all been talking about this night out for ages so you really don’t want to miss out. The only solution is to head all the way home to get your passport or driving licence, and then pay for another taxi back to the club. You’ve already spent a fortune and you haven’t even ordered a drink yet.  It’s just not convenient to whip out a passport each and every time you need to show some ID. With a Digital ID, it’s one less thing to worry about. It’s pretty unlikely you’re going to leave your phone behind when you’re setting off, especially since it’s a content collector made for nights like this.    New job admin and mountains of paperwork Getting a new job can be tough, but having to prove your right to work can be tougher.  You need to fill in all of the paperwork and send copies of your ID documents to your new employer so that they can complete the necessary checks. This sounds simple enough but you don’t even have a printer or scanner, so you take a photo of your passport page and then attach this to an email. You might forget to then delete this photo of your passport, which is fraught with dangers in itself.  Thanks to new Home Office guidelines introduced in April 2022, if you’re a UK or Irish citizen, you can use the Yoti and EasyID apps to prove your identity. A much simpler way to prove your right to work; identity details can be sent from the comfort of your home and your phone. This is particularly useful for contractors and temporary workers who need to do this regularly.   Passport’s gone on holiday  Time and time again we’re asked to confirm our identity, prove our age or show some ID. This could be to open a bank account, buy a pack of beer, collect a parcel or apply for a job. For most of us, we’ll carry our driving licence in our purses or wallet, or grab our passports on our way out the door, but frankly, they were not designed for this.  A passport allows you to go on holiday or travel for work, and a driving licence proves you’re eligible to drive a car. It doesn’t make sense that we’re asked to show a whole passport page or driving licence just to prove our age. We all know a passport can be easily lost or stolen. In fact, this happens more often than you might think – around 400,000 of these important documents disappear each year. You’ve then got the hassle of applying for a replacement passport and forking out £75.50 for a new one. You’ve also got to wait for the new one to arrive in the post, so if you’ve booked a last-minute holiday, you better hope your new passport arrives on time.  But why take the risk and carry these important documents around with you? With a Digital ID, you can store scans of your important documents, such as passports, safely and securely. No need to worry about scammers getting your details, as only you can access your encrypted vault via biometric authentication or a 5-digit PIN.    It’s time to embrace the power of Digital IDs Watch an age-rated film at the cinema, open a bank account, prove your right to work, grab an energy drink or buy a lottery ticket from your local shop. Check who you’re talking to online or prove your age at the self-checkout without waiting for assistance.  Whenever you see the EasyID or Yoti logos, you can prove who you are using either app and have a smarter way to share your details.  And whilst we can’t do all of them today, the number of ways we can use a Digital ID continues to grow. It’s time to embrace the power of Digital IDs and make sure you don’t get left behind.

8 min read
Myth busting age verification

Myth busting age verification

When we’re asked to prove our age we typically show an ID document, like a passport or driving licence. In some instances, we may even show a credit card. But doing so results in us revealing a lot of personal information, like our full name, address or passport number. If a business needs to know we’re the right age for something, that should just be a yes or no answer. We shouldn’t need to share any personal information to prove we’re the right age.  A new chapter is beginning though. One where we can prove our age, without risking our privacy.  We developed facial age estimation to give everyone a secure and private way to prove their age, without sharing their name or any documents. With any new technology, there can be confusion about how it works, often leading to common myths and misconceptions. We’ll always address these so we can begin to paint a clearer picture of what our facial age estimation technology actually does and why it is the private way to prove your age.    It is facial recognition This is not true. The technology uses facial analysis to estimate a person’s age without identifying or recognising any individual. It doesn’t cross-check people against a big database of faces, it simply estimates the age of the image presented to it – the technology never knows or learns the name or identity of a person. This is the difference between facial analysis and facial recognition.   It is the start of a surveillance society Facial age estimation isn’t recording or observing you, so it is definitely not surveillance. It’s used with your consent and you can choose if and when to use it – that’s really important and something we wholeheartedly believe in.    We’re sacrificing our privacy for convenience When you show an ID document to prove your age, you end up revealing a lot of personal information about yourself – your date of birth, full name, passport number, photo and so on. You reveal all of this information every time you prove your age.  With facial age estimation, you actually share no personal details. You simply look at the camera on a device, the technology captures a selfie and estimates your age, and then the selfie is deleted. Facial age estimation offers both convenience and privacy; one doesn’t come at the cost of the other.   Technology can’t estimate my age from a selfie It can and it’s something we’re proud of.  Our technology has been trained to estimate age by looking at facial features in an image. To the technology, the image is simply a pattern of pixels and the pixels are numbers. It’s able to spot patterns in numbers, so it learns ‘this is the pattern a 16 year old would usually have’ or ‘this is the pattern for a 6 year old’, and so on.   Technology can’t guess age better than humans We believe that when presented with a clear facial image, our technology compares very favourably with human abilities. Humans tend to systematically underestimate the ages of older people, and overestimate the age of those younger, and our ability to estimate accurately tends to decrease as we ourselves get older. Furthermore, when viewing a succession of faces, a person’s judgement tends to be influenced by the preceding faces they have just seen, which is not a problem that affects facial age estimation. Facial age estimation can offer clear advantages – it doesn’t get tired on a long shift and can’t show favour to friends or bias against people.   The selfie used to estimate my age isn’t deleted  We have no need and no desire to keep the image used, so we don’t. No images are stored, shared or used for any other purpose than estimating the age.    Big tech is taking over  In many cases, technology can make our lives easier. However, we think that using technology should always be a personal choice and there should always be an alternative available.    The technology is bias towards darker skin tones  We test the accuracy rates across gender and skin tone to make sure it works fairly for everyone. As we show in our whitepaper, the algorithm has no material bias across skin tones. We believe it’s important to be open and transparent with new technology.   It’s collecting photos for a big database This isn’t true. There is no database of faces because all images are deleted in real time once an age has been estimated. Since no data is saved, there’s no way to create a database.    It can link my buying or browsing habits to my face or identity  Again, this is not true. The technology simply estimates your age and that’s it. It never knows your name, identity or your buying or browsing habits. It is not recording what you are buying or which website you are on, it just checks your age.    This is just a way to gather facial biometric data We are never doing this. The technology estimates your age from a selfie and then deletes that image. Nothing is saved or stored; you just pass an age check, without sharing any personal data.    It won’t be effective at protecting underage users Facial age estimation is being used by businesses around the world to protect underage users and create age appropriate experiences. It can be used to stop underage access, provide age-appropriate content moderation and deter grooming.  Social network Yubo introduced our facial age estimation technology to accurately check the age of its users. The new age verification system prevents users from adopting a false age and gaining access to Yubo, reducing the risk of child abuse and other similar acts. Age verification technology also strengthens age-gating on Yubo, which separates users into different communities based on age to limit interaction betweens teens and adults. This also reduces the presence of bots and fake profiles on the platform.   Someone could hold up a photo of an older person  We’ve developed our own anti-spoofing technology to prevent fake images being used for facial age estimation. Our passive liveness technology, which is a separate process to facial age estimation, analyses the depth of an image to make sure it’s a real person and not a photograph, video or bot.   Children will find still find a way to access age restricted content Facial age estimation is being used by a number of companies to prevent underage access. This is a step in the right direction to protecting children, and while no system is perfect, this is an improvement on no age verification or a tick box, which is easily bypassed by children.    There’s no way to prove my age without sharing an ID document or credit card We developed facial age estimation to give everyone a secure and private way to prove their age, without sharing their name, personal information, an ID document or a credit card.  There is a way to prove your age without sharing personal information. These solutions do exist. If you have any other questions about our facial age estimation, then please do get in touch.