German regulator FSM approves Yoti digital identities and age estimation for for online child protection in Germany

profile picture Amy Colville 5 min read

LONDON, 29/05/20 – In a world-first, age estimation and age verification from Yoti have been approved for age-restricted access and protection of young people in Germany. The German Association for Voluntary Self-Regulation of Digital Media Service Providers (FSM) evaluated Yoti’s facial age estimation technology (Yoti Age Scan) and the Yoti app for age verification and certified that both comply with the legal provisions of online child protection in Germany.

Yoti Age Scan is an accurate age estimation technology that enables people that do not have an identity document to prove their age easily and securely. An individual uses the camera on their phone, tablet or laptop to take a picture, which is age estimated using AI and then permanently deleted without a human ever seeing it. If the person meets the required age, they are automatically issued an access token to enter a site.

Privacy is at the core of the automated system that always forgets a face. Individuals do not need to register or provide any other information – no personal data is collected, no date of birth, no credit card details or ID document details are shared. An initial buffer of five years has been set by the German regulator and will be reviewed periodically. 

For 16+ sites, Yoti’s age estimation technology will be set with a 5-year buffer to allow anyone estimated over 21 to enter. For 18+ sites, this will allow anyone looking over 23 to enter following the same secure process. 

People aged above 18 but estimated to be under 23 can use the free Yoti app to anonymously share an ‘over 18 attribute’ with an adult site with a single tap of a button or scan of a QR code. The age is determined using the individual’s date of birth, which is extracted from a government-approved ID document and securely stored in their Yoti ID wallet. 

To create a Yoti account, people download the free app and complete a 3-5 minute Yoti onboarding process. As part of the account creation, Yoti carries out robust checks on each ID document to ensure it is genuine, valid and belongs to the person uploading it. 

Yoti is built with an innovative approach to data, allowing citizens to share less personal details when proving who they are. The app accepts government-approved IDs from over 200 countries and verifies individuals with a combination of leading AI technology and expert security personnel. With Yoti, all data is encrypted and Yoti cannot see or sell user data to third parties. No data is shared without a user’s consent. Yoti aligns to the emerging global W3C standards for verifiable credentials and cannot track individuals. Every time information is shared, both parties receive a receipt of what is shared and when.

Martin Drechsler, FSM said “The innovative mechanism that Yoti has developed opens up new paths for modern and effective protection of minors in Germany. The approach can also give positive impulses to content providers and open up new ways of cooperation – which we as FSM are happy to support.

Robin Tombs, Yoti said “We have been extremely impressed by the rigorous, scientific review of the FSM and the expert team who have audited our age assurance offerings over the last months. We are delighted to be awarded the Seal of Approval from the FSM to offer our age estimation and age verification solutions for youth media protection in the German market place.”

We are also keen to help other regulated markets where age assurance is needed. We look forward to serving adult content providers, wider organisations and consumers in the German market and supporting keeping young people safe and preserving their privacy. In years to come, age estimation AI and digital ID age verification will become globally the most popular, private and trusted way of checking age.”

The German Association for Voluntary Self-Regulation of Digital Media service providers (FSM e. V.) is a non-profit registered association concerned with the protection of young people in online media. Together with its member companies and associations, the FSM is doing important work to strengthen youth media protection and keep in check online media content that is illegal or harmful to young people or impairs their development. FSM operates a hotline where everyone can report online content which is illegal or harmful to young people. Furthermore, the FSM engages in extensive educational work and promotes media literacy for children and adults.


Notes to editors

A demo of how this solution works on an adult content site can be seen here.

Accuracy by skin tone, gender and age can be found in the whitepaper.

About FSM

Since 2005, the FSM has been an organisation of voluntary self-regulation recognised by the Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media (KJM) for the area of online media and in this function is responsible for the suitability testing of youth protection programmes. The association is significantly involved in the protection of minors in the media – especially in the fight against illegal content in online media which is harmful to minors and impairs their development. To this end, the 

FSM operates a complaints office, which anyone can turn to report online content harmful to minors. The FSM’s other tasks include extensive educational work and the promotion of media competence among children, young people and adults.

About Yoti

  • Yoti is a digital identity and biometric technology 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 9 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

Media contacts

Mark Hindle for Yoti – press@yoti.com