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One of Yoti’s own super-recognisers, Zoe, is using her unique facial recognition skills to track down fugitives in tonight’s episode of Channel 4’s on-the-run reality show, Hunted.

We spoke to Zoe about being a super-recogniser and the work she does here at Yoti.


What is a ‘super-recogniser’?

A person’s ability to recognise faces differs dramatically from one person to the next. ‘Super-recognisers’ is the term given to those at the extreme, most able end of the spectrum (typically the top 1-2% on facial recognition tests). Police forces employ super-recognisers to pick out criminals when on the beat or in CCTV footage.


What tests did you have to do to find out you were a super-recogniser?

To become a facial and document assessor at Yoti you need to complete two facial recognition tests designed by Greenwich University. The second test is more in-depth than the first. It involves recognising faces on a much larger scale than the first test. The sample size is much bigger and there is a timed element too, to test how quickly and accurately you can check faces.


Why is your role as a super-recogniser so important to Yoti?

I guess we’re the main line of defence against fraudulent registrations. We stop people from registering fake or impersonated Yoti accounts.

There is no room for error in our work. If things to start to slip through our net then we will undo all of the amazing work everyone at Yoti has done to get the brand and the app to where it is today. The trust businesses and individuals have in Yoti relies on trusted, verified digital identities.


Where are Yoti’s super-recognisers based?

We’ve actually just moved into a nice new office space in Chelmsford.

I love it here; we all do. We’re a real mixed team, with people from all sorts of backgrounds and with lots of different interests outside of work. Coming to the job from different sectors and roles means we’re always sharing knowledge and learnings with each other. Everyone’s really passionate about what Yoti has achieved and where it’s going.


How busy are you?

As a team, we’re checking thousands of people every day and it’s getting busier and busier.

But we don’t just face check all day. There is a range of skills you need to work in the clean room here at Yoti.

That’s why it’s important for us to train and learn all the time. Everyone that joins the clean room team receives in-house training in their first few days and is then trained regularly throughout employment. We receive a mix of in-house training and invite outside agencies in to conduct training sessions too.


What happens with someone’s photo and documents after you have checked them?

After verifying the user’s identity, this information is kept securely, with restricted access within the Security Team, for up to seven days. The images of the user’s documents are then permanently deleted.