Stories and insights from the world of digital identity
Online service providers are increasingly being called upon to provide age appropriate experiences online for their younger users. To do so effectively, service providers need to know the age of their users to make sure they’re providing the right experiences. Why are age appropriate experiences important? The ICO’s Children’s Code, originating in the UK, is driving a global movement to ensure children are able to enjoy online interaction ‘age appropriately’. A growing number of countries around the world are already reviewing legislation for a range of age restricted goods and services, particularly age assurance for online services. Specific initiatives are being developed, with the Californian Age-Appropriate Design Code Act in the US, the EU’s Digital Services Act, and the Online Safety Bill in the UK. Adult content sites are also using Yoti age estimation successfully to prevent children from accessing their websites. What are age appropriate experiences online? Child safety and protection is the significant factor here. They range from ensuring age appropriate interaction for children, protection against detrimental content and grooming, and supporting age appropriate content moderation. The ICO defines the code as applying to all service providers that have children access their services. This includes: Social media Streaming services Online gaming Chat rooms Forums Apps So how can Yoti help with age appropriate experiences online? For a long time, the discussion around age verification has centred on the practicality, effectiveness and cost of implementing such a solution. However, technical solutions have now been developed that are scalable, global and affordable for operators. For example, Yoti’s age estimation is the most privacy-preserving, quickest method of age assurance; it is a global, popular way for service providers to determine age from an image or selfie. Our experience has shown that given the option of age verification methods, around 4 in 5 users choose to use Yoti’s age estimation. Learn more about Yoti’s age estimation and age verification solutions or get in touch for a demo.
As we go about our social purpose work we regularly get to speak to local, national and international non-profit organisations. Over the years, we’ve found that many struggle to understand the many ways digital identity solutions might help them in their work. As part of our wider efforts to help the sector make sense of the technology, today we’re publishing the fifth of six articles looking at the use of digital identities in six different humanitarian and environmental settings. Please note that, while the technology use-case is real, the scenarios are hypothetical in nature, and the projects do not exist as stated. Location Kenya Scenario Maternity and Childcare Clinic Background According to the World Health Organisation, 60% of mothers in sub-Saharan Africa give birth without ever consulting with a healthcare worker. This leads to an increase in the likelihood of complications that can cause maternal and child death. In Kenya, in particular, the mortality rate of mothers during pregnancy and childbirth is considered to be high and was given as 342 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2019. The reason for this is that many women live in rural areas where there are no health care clinics and they can therefore not access antenatal guidance or the help of trained health professionals. Transport to clinics in larger towns is also costly and this adds to the likelihood that pregnant women in Kenya will be unable to consult a health care worker for assistance. UNICEF states that “The causes of maternal death are mostly preventable”, and links decreased maternal mortality with regular attendance at an antenatal or primary health care clinic. Historically, Kenyan women had to pay a fee to attend a maternity clinic and this added to the inaccessibility of these services to the average mother-to-be. In 2013, the Kenyan government implemented a Free Maternity Service policy which resulted in an increase in the number of women who attended maternity clinics. In addition, Kenya has made great progress in recent years in institutionalising community primary health services. Numerous small maternity clinics have been established in rural areas, usually with the help of NGOs, donors and other stakeholders such as UNICEF and USAID. Trained nurses and midwives at these clinics focus on educating mothers-to-be about nutrition, childbirth and hygiene, and on assisting and supporting during the birth of the baby. Challenge With maternity clinics and antenatal services more accessible to Kenyan women than ever before, there has been a significant increase in the number of women seeking to register at these facilities. However, many of the women have no documentation and are unable to identify themselves officially. In rural communities, children are mostly born at home and their births are not recorded in a hospital. This means that many people in these communities have no birth certificates. In Kenya, a birth certificate is needed in order to apply for a national identity card which is, in turn, required for a biometric identity number – known as a Huduma Namba, or “service number” in Swahili. Rural women may therefore remain undocumented, along with millions of others in the Kenyan population. Solution A maternity clinic could register pregnant women who wish to make use of the antenatal and health care services offered. Registration would involve recording a woman’s name, address details and any other relevant information, along with a scan of her fingerprint or face. This is the same technology currently used by the Kenyan government authorities in their drive to register every citizen with a digital identity and work number. The database could be stored at the clinic of the woman’s choice, with an undertaking that she must return to the same clinic where she registered for all subsequent check-ups and health issues. Each time a patient returns for a check-up, she would use her fingerprint to authenticate her identity. This would enable the clinic to monitor the progress of the woman’s pregnancy and ensure she attended antenatal classes regularly, to educate her on issues of nutrition, hygiene, breastfeeding and baby care. If she failed to attend one of the classes, the clinic staff would be alerted and may decide to visit her home to ascertain if problems had arisen. After childbirth, the baby’s immunisation schedule and growth could also be monitored and the data stored under the mother’s digital identity file. This data could also be accessed when the woman returned to the clinic for subsequent pregnancies. Read our other scenarios on how digital identity could: be used to monitor food and cash rations be used to help make cross-border trading easier help protect endangered southern ground hornbills in Zimbabwe promote education in Angola
Yoti and Post Office gain UK government approval as certified identity provider for DBS, Right to Work and Right to Rent checks
We are delighted to announce that Yoti and Post Office are 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. A significant milestone for Yoti and digital identity This announcement marks the first time that a digital identity app has been approved by the UK government, and our partnership with Post Office has enabled us to bring a unique identity offering to the market. The Yoti and EasyID reusable digital ID apps give people straightforward way to prove their identity with their phone, which is particularly useful for people like contractors and temporary workers who need to do this regularly. Alternatively, businesses can use our web service that requires a customer to simply scan their documents and add any other required information. Finally, the partnership also provides in-branch verification services in Post Office branches for people unable, or who choose not to, do so online. To achieve certification, we completed a rigorous audit process undertaken by the Digital Identity Systems Certification service authorised by DCMS and UKAS for the pilot certification process. It represents a significant shift in policy toward digital identity as a valid form of proof of identity, greatly improving compliance processes in our digital world. What are the changes to guidance? From 6 April 2022, employers and landlords can use a digital identity service provider (IDSP) to complete identity verification for right to work and right to rent checks. British and Irish citizens who hold a valid passport (or Irish passportcard) will be eligible. IDSPs can carry out digital identity verification to a range of standards or levels of confidence. The Home Office recommends that employers only accept checks via an IDSP that satisfies a minimum of a Medium Level of Confidence. GOV.UK provides a list of certified providers to choose from: Digital identity certification for Right to Work, Right to Rent and criminal record checks. Why is this important? Over 7 million adults have to complete DBS (Criminal Record) checks a year Over 30 million people work in the UK and have to complete Right to Work checks £1.275m value of penalties issued between 1 July to 30 September 2021 for non-compliance, with a maximum fine of £20,000. 9% of people surveyed have needed to prove their identity due to starting a new job in the past 12 months (Post Office Hot Topics data) 46% of people don’t feel comfortable with businesses taking a photocopy of their ID (Post Office Hot Topics data) Who are we working with? We are pleased to be working with many of the largest screening companies in the UK, who have recognised the unique proposition the Yoti and Post Office partnership offers.
UK Cinema Association partners with digital identity provider Yoti to ease 'proof of age' challenges at cinemas
Young people can now prove their age using the Yoti and Post Office EasyID apps, instead of taking documents such as a passport out with them Move is set to reduce pressure and confrontation for staff when checking age LONDON – 30th May 2022 – The UK Cinema Association, representing the interests of the vast majority of UK cinema operators, has today announced a partnership with digital identity provider Yoti so participating sites will accept Yoti and their partner’s Post Office EasyID apps as proof of age. From today, participating cinemas will accept the digital ID apps, giving young people aged from 13 upwards a safer, more convenient way to prove their age using their smartphone – meaning that important ID documents such as passports can now be left at home. The modern solution will also reduce the challenges many cinemas face in checking ages as required by the current film classification system. Phil Clapp, CEO at the UK Cinema Association said: “Of the 165 million to 170 million admissions per year UK cinemas were seeing pre-pandemic, around 30 per cent fall within the 15-24 year old bracket (and around 20 per cent within the 9-14 year old age group). Since cinemas re-opened last May those proportions are likely to be even higher. For many wanting to get into a ‘15’ or even ‘18’ certificate film proving their age – without a passport or driving licence to hand – can be incredibly difficult and an understandable source of frustration when they are turned away from the cinema. This new partnership offers a straightforward and modern way to alleviate many of those issues.” Kelly Drew, Operations Director at Cineworld said: “With an increase in recent years in the number of films classified at ‘15’ but with a broader youth appeal, the issue of proving age is getting increasingly challenging. The introduction of digital ID is a trusted and robust way of checking ID and will support our staff, who are often on the frontline of any resulting customer frustration.” Robin Tombs, CEO and Co-founder at Yoti said: “We’re thrilled to have many UK Cinema Association members join the 30,000 locations on the UK high street accepting our reusable digital ID apps. Young people expect to be able to do everything with their phone and using it to prove their age will come naturally to them. It’s a win-win for both cinemas and young cinema-goers.” How it works The process to obtain and use the accepted digital ID apps is simple, with the individual applicant being required to: Download the free Yoti (or partner’s Post Office EasyID app) app from Android Play or the Apple App Store Add a photo ID and a current photo to verify their identity. Open the ID app – tap to show the ID card and select age (no other personal details are shared) Present the ID card to cinema staff: The Digital ID card will show the verified photo of the individual and their verified ‘Age Over…’ There is a hologram on the Digital ID card that moves when the phone is tilted – for anti-spoofing purposes For further confidence, the cinema staff can scan the QR code on the card with a freely available web app scan.yoti.com Yoti’s apps (including Post Office EasyID) have been downloaded over 11 million times globally and are already accepted by a wide range of organisations including the Jersey Government, Scottish Improvement Service, The NHS, Virgin Atlantic, NSPCC, convenience stores and many more. Notes to editors UKCA canvassed the opinion of their 850 members which include all the major UK cinema operators (Vue, Cineworld, Odeon, Showcase Cinemas, PictureHouse and others) about the use of digital ID apps which was met with strong approval. About the UK Cinema Association The UK Cinema Association (UKCA) represents the interests of well over 90 per cent of UK cinema operators. Our members range from the largest cinema circuits to a wide range of single site owner-operated companies. The UKCA advocates on behalf of the UK cinema sector at international, national, regional and local level as well as working with other sectors of the industry, particularly colleagues in film distribution, to promote the value of cinema to the wider public and identify and share best practice. About Yoti Yoti is a digital identity 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. Yoti’s digital ID app is accepted as proof of identity in over 30,000 UK High street locations including cinemas, Post Offices and convenience stores. In 2021 Yoti partnered with Post Office to deliver the UK’s most comprehensive identity service. Post Office EasyID app is interoperable with the Yoti digital ID app. Over 11 million people have downloaded the free Yoti app globally (3million in the UK). Yoti is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Polish, Russian and Ukrainian. 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 For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Nikki Alvey, The PR Network on 07973 354 706 or James Connor, UK Cinema Association on 07725 501 422. For Yoti: email@example.com
Yoti age estimation approved by German regulator KJM for the highest level of age assurance covering 18+ adult content
We are delighted to announce that Yoti’s Facial Age Estimation technology has now been approved by the German regulator, KJM, for the highest level of age assurance. This means it can now be used for 18+ adult content. In November 2021, Yoti’s Facial Age Estimation technology was approved for 16+ (erotic) content so today’s news is a significant new development as it demonstrates that our technology has passed the highest levels of regulatory scrutiny in Germany. This is the first time age estimation has been approved for use by any regulator at the highest level for the sensitive area of adult content access. It potentially sets a precedent for approval wider throughout Europe and in the other jurisdictions which are reviewing age gating for adult content access. Germany has one of the most stringent regulatory environments in the world, in particular when it comes to accessing adult content online. Previous to this announcement, adult websites had to verify the age of their users by asking them to use a physical identity document, either in person (by buying a card from a store), via an app or via a video call. According to the KJM, under the German regulations, regulated businesses must set an age threshold with an agreed year buffer of 5 years. This means that for websites that require you to be over 18, Yoti’s technology must estimate you to be at least 23 years old. Yoti’s current margin of error is 1.52 years for ages 13 – 19. Our True Positive Rate* (TPR) for 13-17 year olds being correctly estimated as under 23 is 99.65%. This gives regulators a very high level of confidence that nobody underage will be able to access adult content. Yoti’s liveness detection also ensures that under age website visitors will not be able to use the photo of an older person to access age restricted content. To find out more about how our Age Estimation technology works please read our most recent white paper. * True Positive Rate – the probability that an actual positive will test positive, such as an under 18 year old is correctly estimated to be under 23.
Making it faster and safer to prove your age Our age estimation technology accurately estimates a person’s age by looking at their face. We built it to give everyone a secure and private way of proving how old they are in different everyday scenarios: from age checking on social platforms and online stores, to supermarket self-checkouts, bars and clubs. This privacy-friendly approach to age verification doesn’t require any personal details or documents, and all information is instantly deleted once someone receives their estimated age – nothing is ever viewed by a human. Key takeaways from the report The current accuracy rates (Mean Absolute Errors) are: 2.96 years for 6-70 year olds. 1.52 years for 13-19 year olds. 1.56 years for 6-12 year olds. Users are not individually identifiable. Helps organisations to meet Children’s Codes or Age Appropriate Design Codes. Does not result in the processing of special category data. Gender and skin tone bias minimised. True Positive Rate (TPR) for 13-17 year olds correctly estimated as under 23 is 99.65%. TPR for 6-11 year olds correctly estimated as under 13 is 98.91%. Download the executive summary (updated May 2022)Download the latest white paper (updated May 2022)Download the previous white paper (October 2021)