We’re delighted to announce that we’ve been accepted into the FCA regulatory sandbox, which is designed to test innovative financial products and services. We believe that the Yoti digital ID app will transform many everyday experiences. It’s great to be able to show how Yoti can make life simpler and safer for financial organisations and their customers. The reusable Yoti digital ID app with enhanced fraud screening capability will help transform the customer experience, access to finance and fraud prevention in the prepaid card market. We’ll be delivering this with two of our valued partners, Synectics Solutions and embedded financial services provider Orenda Financial Solutions. The sandbox is for businesses delivering innovation in the UK financial services market and follows a successful pilot last year. The sandbox aims to provide participant businesses with the opportunity to test products and services in a controlled environment, reduce time-to-market at potentially lower cost, identify consumer protection safeguards and offer better access to finance. John Abbott, Chief Business Officer at Yoti said: “At the heart of Yoti’s reusable digital identity app and credential management platform is the drive to protect businesses from financial crime and fraud, improve customer journeys and empower individuals to take control of their data. We are delighted to be working with Orenda and Synectics through the FCA’s Sandbox. This secure approach will save time and money and become an innovative blueprint for reusable identity and fraud screening.” At the end of the regulatory sandbox period, the tests will be reviewed with the firm’s allocated sandbox case officer to assess the test against a range of success measures. The FCA will then work closely with each participant to ensure that the appropriate course of action is taken as they progress out of the sandbox. Synectics Solutions’ Chris Lewis, Head of Solutions said: “The sandbox pilot proved hugely valuable as an opportunity to collaborate across the financial services sector to drive future innovation and world-leading expertise. Across the industry, we have many shared objectives and by sharing best practice and lessons from such a wide range of organisations and test cases, we will help to improve the industry as a whole.” Alistair Swanepoel, Chief Risk Officer at Orenda said “Orenda, as an embedded financial services provider, is excited to be working in conjunction with Synectics and Yoti on this regulatory Sandbox pilot, which through testing digital ID solutions has the potential to provide benefits to the overall financial services industry.” For more information, please read our whitepaper.
We started out in 2014 with a huge, complex task built around a simple mission – to fix the broken identity system and make it simpler and safer for people to prove who they are. This has been our driving force from day one and will continue to shape how we develop our business and products. It’s our purpose. Yoti has grown from a small team with the goal of putting people’s ID on their phone, to a global identity network verifying people and their ID documents from over 195 countries. This is now backed by a suite of identity solutions that span authentication, eSignatures and privacy-preserving, age estimation AI. We’ve now performed over 450 million age and identity checks. We’ve won awards thanks to our focus on security and privacy, built an incredible dedicated team and roster of organisations that share our mission to use digital identity as a force for good… And today, we’re celebrating our 10 millionth Yoti app download along with over 2 million UK installs. It’s a huge milestone and achievement everyone at Yoti is proud of and we want to thank everyone who has supported us to get here. As we embark on the next chapter of our journey, in partnership with the Post Office here in the UK and with leading brands and organisations around the world, we’re excited to be taking even bigger strides on our mission. Join the digital identity revolution with Yoti.
Last month, Yoti Guardian Gavin Starks chaired our third stakeholder roundtable on the next proposed stage of the development of our age estimation technology. We brought together fifty five guests from seven countries, including representatives from 5rights, Apps for Good, Be In Touch South Africa, Breck Foundation, Caribou Digital, CyberSafeIreland, Digital Policy Alliance, FSM Germany – Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Multimedia-Diensteanbieter, GoBubble, IEEE, Interactive Software Federation of Europe, International Committee of the Red Cross, Internet Commission, Internet Watch Foundation, Irish Data Protection Commission, Keele University, KJM German Federal Agency for the Protection of Minors, London School of Economics, Marie Collins Foundation, Media Monitoring Africa, NSPCC, Obidos Consulting, OFCOM, PA Consulting, Parent Zone, Point de Contact France, Public.io, Sprite+, techUK, Thai Government, The Football Association, UK Government Cabinet Office, UK Government Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, UK Information Commissioner’s Office, UKCCIS, UNESCO, War Child, WePROTECT. Roundtables on our age estimation technology We ran our first roundtable ahead of launching age estimation two years ago. The second roundtable introduced the concept of extending our age estimation to a younger demographic. That is now a reality with our age estimation accurate to within approximately ±1.5 years for the 13-25 age group, as you can read in our latest age estimation white paper. During the third roundtable we recapped the journey to date and outlined the current work on age estimation and in particular the two campaigns from our ICO Sandbox work that we launched on Safer Internet Day, 9th Feb, 2021. Safer Internet Day 2021 We’re currently working in the ICO Sandbox with partners including GoBubble child-content moderation SaaS (GoBubbleWrap) and British Esports to extend the range to be able to estimate ages under 13. As part of this work, we have launched two campaigns: 1. Education campaign and video competition Based on the Unicef policy guidance on AI for children, this competition seeks to help young people understand: How age estimation is built, including training, tagging, testing. The ethical considerations, including dataset consent, diversity, transparency, no recognition just analysing an image – when it estimates age) Where the technology can help keep young people safe. Education materials we have developed include: Education Videos explaining AI age estimation under the hood Interactive Game – pit yourself against the computer Video to show what anti-spoofing means Interactive demo – to try it out – have your age estimated Videos of age estimation in use 2. #Share2Protect In parallel via the #share2 protect campaign, we’re offering an opt-in way for parents and young people to support the development of the age estimation by sharing a photo to build a consented data set. The extended AI age estimation approach will support content platforms to meet regulatory requirements, such as the Age Appropriate Design Code, to protect children from unwanted intrusions, inappropriate content and minimise the risk of grooming. We give the final word to those who are supporting this vitally important work. Supported by Our campaign is supported by many key figures in the child online protection space. Lorin LaFave, Founder Breck Foundation: “Keeping children safer online is a collective priority for all of us, from the developing tech solutions to the education of children, parents and schools. By parents safely sharing their children’s photos today for Yoti to create better age verification techniques, children will have a safer and healthier online future.” Tink Palmer, MBE CEO Marie Collins Foundation: “The Marie Collins Foundation fully endorses the #share2protect campaign. We work with the victims of online abuse and know the harm caused to children and young people. This initiative by Yoti needs to receive the full support of parents wherever they live in the world.” John Carr, Online Safety Expert: “We need tech solutions which enable people of all ages to be able to prove their age safely, not just people with ID documents. This work through the ICO Sandbox could support many platforms to meet their obligations.” If you’d like to support the consented development of age estimation, please head to the support age estimation website for more information or get in touch to hear more.
Ahead of the Age Appropriate Design Code, many companies are looking at how to provide age-appropriate services, messaging, content and, crucially for parents, how to deter grooming. We are working in the ICO Sandbox with partners including child-content moderation SaaS GoBubble (GoBubbleWrap), to further develop our privacy-preserving age estimation technology so that it can accurately estimate the age of children under 13. This vital ICO Sandbox partnership will offer child-centric content moderation with global scalability on a Software as a Service (SaaS) basis. This will include privacy information and accessible parental consent mechanisms, including the option to use age estimation for parental consent. ‘Share to protect’ with Yoti’s privacy preserving age estimation Our age estimation technology can currently estimate the age of 13-25 year olds within 1.5 years of accuracy. But obtaining verified training data for under 13s is hard due to legal barriers, making it tricky to ensure solutions work for children. The ICO is working with Yoti to tackle this challenge and with your help, we can expand our technology to provide leading accuracy and protect 7-12 year olds. Parents can opt in to support the development of our age estimation by sharing a photo of their child to build a consented data set. We’re doing this to support content platforms in meeting regulatory requirements and protect children from unwanted intrusions, inappropriate content and minimise the risk of grooming. More about the tech Yoti age estimation was built to give everyone a secure and private way of proving their age, without revealing any other personal information. All a person needs to do is look into the camera, have their face scanned and their age will be estimated in seconds. The technology is based on a technique known as a neural network, which Yoti has trained to estimate ages using machine-learning AI. We input verified data, including an individual’s photo, month and year of birth, and the system keeps on learning and improving. Is this facial recognition? No, it does not match faces. The technology simply estimates an age from a face without personal details. There’s no image or data held after the check. Helping parents and children understand AI We know that AI technology can be hard to understand, which is why we’re launching our Education Campaign and video competition. Based on the Unicef policy guidance on AI for children, we hope our competition will teach young people about: How age estimation is built, including training, tagging, testing. The ethical considerations, including dataset consent, diversity, transparency and facial recognition versus just analysing an image. Where the technology can help keep young people safe. Lorin LaFave, Founder of the Breck Foundation, strives to educate the digital generation to keep safe online as they play virtual or in real life: “Keeping children safer online is a collective priority for all of us, from the developing tech solutions to the education of children, parents and schools. By parents safely sharing their children’s photos to create better age verification techniques, children will have a safer and healthier online future.” Tink Palmer, MBE CEO Marie Collins Foundation: “The Marie Collins Foundation fully endorses the Share to protect campaign. We work with the victims of online abuse and know the damage caused to children. This initiative by Yoti needs to receive the full support of parents wherever they may live in the world.” John Carr, Online Safety Expert, Secretary of the UK Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety and member of the Executive Board of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety: “We need tech solutions which enable people of all ages to be able to prove their age safely, not just people with ID documents. This work through the ICO Sandbox could support many platforms to meet their obligations.” Julie Dawson, Director of Regulatory & Policy at Yoti: “People share photos of their children all the time; we’d encourage them to share a photo to help protect children online. We are delighted to be working with edtech and child safety organisations to provide education materials and we hope to inspire parents to share a photo to improve age estimation for the under 13 age group.”
We’re honoured to see our CEO Robin Tombs be recognised as a Meaningful Business 100 Leader for 2020. This award recognises outstanding business leaders across the world who are combining profit and purpose to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. One of the SDGs is to ‘provide legal identity to all’. Since Yoti was founded in 2014, we’ve been fully committed to the concept of digital identity for all. Our commercial activities are centred around online tools and apps that allow people to prove who they are, whilst our social purpose activities support the building of solutions for those without mobile devices or internet access in less developed countries. This year has undoubtedly been one of the most challenging yet. But it has also seen us make some great achievements that we are incredibly proud of. We’ve partnered with GeneMe to develop a rapid COVID-19 testing system that delivers results to your phone in 30 minutes. We’ve helped organisations such as the NHS and Volunteer Edinburgh remotely issue digital ID cards during the pandemic. We’ve gifted our identity technology to volunteering platforms to ensure they continue to safeguard their users during the pandemic and we’ve released a paper on social purpose which outlined our own record on diversity and inclusion in response to the recent demonstrations by Black Lives Matter. After such a monumental year, we’re delighted to see our CEO Robin take his well-earned place in the top 100 Meaningful Business leaders from 34 countries. He joins corporate CEOs, entrepreneurs and sustainability leaders that are helping to achieve sustainable development. Commenting on the MB100, Tom Lytton-Dickie, Founder and CEO, Meaningful Business said, “We are delighted to recognise Robin Tombs as part of the Meaningful Business 100 for 2020. In what has been a challenging year for everyone, the MB100 provides an inspiring reminder of the brilliant work being done around the world to solve the biggest issues we are facing today.” In Robin’s own words, “Hats off to all of them.” “Sometimes rightly businesses get a bad name for not doing good in the pursuit of short term profit. But there are also times when businesses demonstrate they can be forces for good. Teams in businesses can be highly motivated to deliver social purpose alongside sustainable commercial success. Thankfully, these twin goals are not mutually exclusive.”