Stories and insights from the world of digital identity
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 fourth 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 Angola Scenario Resources for Trainee Teachers Background When Angola gained independence from Portugal in 1975, the new government estimated the level of illiteracy in the country to be between 85% and 90%. There then followed 27 years of civil war, during which the country’s education system (what there was of it) was left in chaos. Not only did most of the qualified teachers leave the country, but schools were damaged by gunfire and landmines and civilians became displaced. When the civil war ended in 2002, UN figures indicated that about 45% of Angolan children did not go to school. Those who did attend school often experienced a lack of teachers, overcrowding in unsuitable classrooms or a total absence of classrooms or classroom supplies. However, the Angolan government quickly focused attention on improving the education system and introduced four years of free, compulsory primary education (between the ages of 7 and 11). With the help of aid agencies such as UNESCO, the government has rebuilt many schools and opened hundreds of new ones. By 2018, it employed 17,000 teachers but still estimated that a further 200,000 trained teachers would be needed in order to give all Angolan children a primary school education. Challenge Teachers are particularly needed in rural areas and the NGO, known as ADPP (Aid for the Development of the People by the People), which works with the Angolan Ministry of Education, has set up secondary schools in rural areas specifically to train teachers to work in local primary schools. The three-year training promotes teaching skills through a combination of studies, courses and experiences, and students are expected to research topics for themselves, share ideas and ask questions. The students are usually from poor backgrounds and only have a few years of primary school education themselves. They are not able to purchase textbooks or access internet resources in order to fulfil the research aspects of the training course. In addition, many of them are not in possession of the national ID card due to the problems with access to, and issuance in, rural areas. Solution Each of the new training schools, called Training Colleges for the Teachers of the Future (CTFs), has a library that contains relevant references and study material for the courses offered. Students who register for a course have their personal details recorded, along with a fingerprint and face scan. They are also issued with a student card displaying their photograph. Access to the library involves scanning a student’s fingerprint, whereafter he or she is authorised to enter and borrow resource material. In addition, this gives access to the computer terminals available for research. Students who have already graduated as Teachers of the Future but who may still need to use the resources in the library for reference and guidance may also be given access, via fingerprint scan, for a period of time after completing their training. 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
The past few weeks have seen the largest movement of people in Europe since World War II, with millions fleeing the war in Ukraine in search of safety, and many more trapped or under siege, unable to leave. While food, water and medicine are among the more immediate needs, many people have been forced to flee without identity documents as they get lost, misplaced or potentially confiscated along the way. While the situation remains fluid, humanitarian organisations are reporting the lack of any form of ID as a growing problem as people arrive at border crossings seeking help. In the longer term, the lack of ID can hinder visa applications, or potentially make moving back harder when it’s finally safe to return home. However, this is only part of the problem. Large numbers of local and foreign volunteers and workers are responding to the emergency, and in many places there’s a growing need to verify the identity of drivers or aid workers providing help and support. Reports of donated goods and supplies – and worse, women and children – going missing are already beginning to emerge. With vast numbers of vulnerable people congregating around borders, the potential for a huge humanitarian disaster is very real and incredibly worrying. For the past few weeks, we’ve been speaking to an increasing number of humanitarian NGOs, and collaborating with friends at TechFugees. Within days of war breaking out, many of the organisations in their network began reaching out to ask about our digital identity solutions, and how they might help those responding to the humanitarian crisis mitigate against some of these risks, or help citizens fleeing the war to secure their identities. We’ve been doing all we can to provide support to any organisation keen to implement our technology, which we’ve been providing for free. We understand how important it is to help them streamline the flow of humanitarian aid in times of crisis and to ensure that those delivering it are who they say they are. As part of our efforts to help anyone in the country who wants to safely store and secure their identity documents, we’ve fast-tracked the translation of the Yoti app into the two most widely spoken languages in Ukraine – Ukrainian and Russian. The app, with this new language support, is now available in the App Store and Google Play stores and free to download by anyone in or from Ukraine worried about losing the ability to prove who they are, either now or in the future. A short information sheet has also been introduced to explain the potential benefits of digital identity to them. Yoti in the humanitarian sector Thanks in large part to our social purpose efforts over the past few years, we know there are countless opportunities for Yoti to support the wider humanitarian sector, who can use our solutions often for free or at a heavily discounted rate. Operational uses may include verifying someone’s personal details when they sign up as a volunteer, confirming the identities of people accessing critical humanitarian data, or verifying that someone who claims to work for an aid agency does actually work for them. For people fleeing war or conflict who try to enter neighbouring countries or apply or register for help, securing their identity digitally is likely to prove hugely beneficial. Outside of any emergency use, Yoti can also be used to register patients for health programmes, identify people before making cash payments, registering and assisting refugees accessing camp services, or to clock teachers and pupils in and out of school. You can find more about our wider offering to the charity sector here, or on our broader social purpose efforts here. Planning ahead While we’re doing all we can to support the humanitarian response in Ukraine, we recognise our efforts are more reactive than proactive. Naturally, humanitarian crises can be hard to predict and the scale of what’s been taking place across the country has even taken many of the aid agencies working there by surprise. While we’re still learning about how digital identity solutions can support current efforts, it’s important to be as well prepared as possible before the next crisis strikes, and that means striving to always understand the most immediate needs of humanitarian relief organisations when they first hit the ground. What might they need from a company like Yoti to help them better understand what we offer? Would it make sense for us to ‘package up’ some of our solutions so they’re ready ‘off-the-shelf’ to meet some of the earliest needs, such as issuing digital ID cards to aid workers or volunteers? Should they have time before fleeing their homes, how do we help vulnerable people understand the very real benefits of securing their identities digitally? As our response to events in Ukraine is ongoing, there’s still a lot we don’t know. We’ve made the decision to hire a consultant with deep humanitarian crisis experience to help us unpick what we’ve been doing, and to help us gain valuable insight into how we can do it better for those that might benefit the most. The global response to the war has been incredible and it’s been encouraging to see so many people and organisations step up and help. As a company committed to doing good, and with technology with the potential to help the most vulnerable, it’s only right that we put ourselves among them in whatever way we can. If your organisation is working in Ukraine or one of the bordering countries, and you’re interested in how our digital identity solutions might help in your crisis response, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of the team will get straight back to you. It goes without saying that our hearts go out to all those affected by events in Ukraine, and we pray for a speedy end to this horrific and unjust war. Ken Banks Head of Social Purpose at Yoti
In December 2021, the Home Office announced that from April 6th, there would be changes to the guidance for completing right to work and right to rent checks. Advice was amended at the start of the pandemic to allow right to work checks to be performed via a video call – following feedback from organisations, this temporary guidance has been extended until September 30th. The updated Right to Work guidance will come into effect on 6th April, a new scheme under the Department of Culture, Media and Sport Identity and Attributes Trust Framework. The aim is to develop the market for digital identities, and engender trust in businesses and citizens to enable this future-focused, more efficient way of proving identity. You will still be able to continue using video calls to complete checks – this temporary adjustment has been deferred until September 30th 2022. However, the big change is that you will be able to accept digital remote checks from April 6th. There is a certification process being undertaken at the moment and Yoti, in partnership with Post Office, is actively undergoing its own certification. So, how can I now perform right to work checks and ensure I’m meeting the guidelines? Video calls are still allowed until September 30th 2022 Physically checking a candidate’s document on day 1 and taking a copy is still valid From April 6, you can use a digital identity provider Read more about how our unique partnership with Post Office can help you with right to work and right to rent checks.
LONDON – 16th March 2022 – uCheck has announced a new Digital Identity Check solution in partnership with Post Office and Yoti. It brings a modern approach to DBS and Right to Work Checks that will save time and admin by swapping manual ID reviews and the copying of applicants’ physical documents for a secure digital process that takes seconds. uCheck is the top DBS umbrella body in the UK and a leading provider of employment vetting and screening solutions – it currently processes over 850,000 checks annually for over 20,000 organisations. uCheck is the largest DBS provider in the UK along with DBS Enhanced, Standard and Basic Checks and the Right to Work, ID and Adverse Credit Checks. This move follows the government’s recent release of new guidelines around Digital Identity Checks for DBS applications, as well as Right to Work Checks. The guidelines are based on the new UK Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework, which aims to facilitate secure and trustworthy solutions around digital identity in the UK, improving the user experience and boosting economic growth. The Post Office EasyID and Yoti Digital ID apps will allow potential employees’ identity to be verified quickly, remotely and securely. A reusable digital identity enables people to pre-verify their ID and then prove who they are using their phone. People simply scan a QR code to share their ID in seconds, without needing their physical ID documents. The new Digital Identity Check service uses automated checks to identify prospective employees almost instantly – to support Basic, Standard and Enhanced DBS Checks as well as Right to Work requirements. The secure service uses advanced AI to check documents such as passports and driving licences are genuine. Digital Identity Checks increase efficiency and ensure that checks are secure and reliable. Checking identity is crucial during the recruitment process to protect business against fraud. The advantages of digital verification include: Speed – the applicant can upload documents digitally and prove their identity during the application process, saving both the applicant and employer considerable time. Quality – a Digital Identity Check scans documents’ biometric data, making it significantly more thorough than any physical check. There’s no need to worry if a document could have been forged. Reliable – a Digital Identity Check verifies a set scope of requirements, every time. There’s no risk of human error. Scope – with the ability to check passports from over 200 countries there’s no need to worry if you’ve never seen a particular document before. George Griffiths, Managing Director at uCheck said: “We are delighted to partner with Post Office and Yoti to transform the way businesses verify their employees identity. This new approach is better for all stakeholders in the recruitment process. It’s faster, secure and the only information that is absolutely necessary needs to be shared by applicants during the Digital Identity Check process. At uCheck, we’ll be seamlessly integrating Digital Identity Checks into our Platform, so that they’re ready to use as soon as permitted. Digital Identity Checks will be charged on a per-applicant basis.” Robin Tombs, CEO at Yoti said: “It’s fantastic to partner with uCheck and Post Office and make it easier for businesses and their employees to perform DBS and Right to Work checks. Digital identities are a powerful tool in the battle against ID related fraud. Not only do they help you know who you’re dealing with, they speed up and secure everyday tasks, cutting out paper trails and time intensive manual processes. It’s a real win-win for individuals and organisations alike.” For more information about Digital Identity Checks or queries about any uCheck services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Notes to editors New government guidance on digital identity verification On 17th January 2022, the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) published updated guidance paving the way for Digital Identity Checks to be used as part of Basic, Standard and Enhanced DBS Checks. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has also released an update around Digital Identity Checks to verify Right to Work and other certifications. About Yoti Yoti is a digital identity 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. In the UK, Yoti is partnered with Post Office to accelerate digital identity adoption with a national footprint spanning 10,500 Post Office branches, online and more. Over 11 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 For Yoti: email@example.com For the PR network: firstname.lastname@example.org
Checking age no longer has to rely on seeing an ID document. In fact, you don’t even need to see a name. With Yoti Age Verification, businesses can check the age of their users without processing or storing any personal data. Users choose their preferred way to prove their age, from convenient things like a selfie or a mobile number. We work out the age, delete the personal data and share just the result with the business. That way, businesses can be confident they’re delivering age-appropriate services to the right people, whilst protecting their privacy. Here are the different ways to check age. Remember, it doesn’t matter which method someone chooses to prove their age. Yoti will always remove any personal data and share just the result of the age check. Facial age estimation People simply look at the camera on a device and have their photo taken. The image is analysed by an algorithm that has been trained to determine age by analysing facial features. A robust facial age estimation process should also include liveness detection technology to ensure it’s a real person in front of the camera. Good for: People without ID documents Global coverage Low friction ID document Your customers scan a photo ID document and take a selfie using the camera on their device. Their ID can be analysed to make sure it’s genuine and the document photo is matched to the selfie. Good for: High assurance Global coverage Digital ID Your customers scan a QR code using their digital ID app and share a verified age attribute, such as 18+ or 21+. This requires a one-time onboarding process with an ID document and a selfie. Once created, users are verified for life and can use their digital ID to prove their age or identity details with businesses online and in person. Good for: Reusable authentication High assurance Global coverage Credit card check Verify your customer is over 18 using their credit card details. This method proves your customer is in possession of a registered credit card, which in most countries, can only be issued to people old enough to sign a credit agreement. Good for: Background checks Specific countries Mobile number check Verify your customer is over 18 using their mobile provider details. Mobile phone numbers can be checked against contracts issued by mobile carriers. You should ensure the phone is in the possession of the contract holder before checking their contract and be aware parents will take out contracts for their children. Good for: Accounts linked to a mobile number Background checks Specific countries Database check Verify your customer’s name, date of birth and address against a credit reference agency database. In some countries, users will be on a database if they have signed a credit agreement. This may exclude those in lower income groups or younger adults and students. Good for: Background checks Specific countries
Fluttr launches UK’s first dating app requiring full ID verification – guaranteeing users protection from fake profiles, catfishing and romance fraud
Fluttr launches UK’s first dating app requiring full ID verification – guaranteeing users protection from fake profiles, catfishing and romance fraud Digital ID verification of all users is combined with human moderation to create a safe experience for Fluttrers Fluttr harnesses artificial intelligence driven content monitoring to keep the app ecosystem safe, including award-winning AI-powered image moderation for the detection of inappropriate content Fluttrers can connect and game together, with games such as ‘Mystery Fluttr’, a game inspired by the popular TV show ‘Blind Date’, to help people connect and to make the online dating experience more entertaining LONDON – 14th February 2022: Launching today, Fluttr is the UK’s first ever online dating app to require the use of full digital ID verification technology. The secure platform enables users to safely and securely find love and make new authentic connections. Fluttr has been designed as a new kind of dating app and online experience that puts real people, whose identities have been verified, at the heart of the app to prevent commonly seen abuses in the online dating and social landscape where anonymity and a lack of security allow multiple false identities, catfishing, and romance fraud to proliferate. Fluttr also does not allow adverts, nor does it store or sell its users’ personal data. Fluttr launches amid growing awareness of the importance of online safety in the UK as the Government moves to strengthen laws to stamp out content or activities that harm individual users online, with sending ‘threatening and knowingly false’ messages becoming a criminal offence. The online dating sector is currently rife with the potential for abuse as highlighted in this month’s acclaimed Netflix documentary “The Tinder Swindler”, which tells the story of a man who scammed women for millions after matching with them online. To combat this growing problem, Fluttr is pioneering the use of digtial ID technology to verify every new member from the outset. Ahead of being admitted into the Fluttr ecosystem to browse or engage with other Fluttrers, every new member must verify their ID with Fluttr’s digital ID verification partner Yoti, a global leader in digital ID services whose clients and partners include the NHS, the Post Office, governments and many leading UK retailers. Yoti’s state-of-the-art technology ensures all Fluttrers are providing their genuine details, verified from government-issued ID. The final identification of every user is verified so that users can be reassured that the individuals they are meeting on Fluttr are truly who they say they are, avoiding fake profiles created by people to commit abuse or by companies luring customers into false interactions for fees, while seeking to populate their apps for commercial marketing purposes. The growing popularity of online dating apps in the UK has led to a sharp rise in romance fraud, with at least one in five people having been the victim of catfishing according to a 2021 survey by BetMinded. In the first quarter of 2021, romance fraud cost UK dating app users more than £73.9m according to consumer association Which?. Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, recorded a 40% rise in dating app scams in the same period as increased numbers of people migrated to online platforms to meet people during the pandemic. Creating a safe ecosystem is Fluttr’s top priority and in addition to the work vetting new members, the app also has a team of content moderators tasked with maintaining the safety of the platform by taking down explicit images and removing users engaging in abusive behaviour. Next month Fluttr will launch its artificial intelligence content monitoring feature that detects inappropriate images and language before they leave the sender’s phone, preventing inappropriate content from ever reaching Fluttr’s network. The Fluttr app’s secure and verified environment empowers Fluttrers to find real connections with genuine people and in the Fluttr app where it is ‘safe enough to take the risk’, Fluttrers can connect and game together. Fluttr will launch with the Mystery Fluttr game, inspired by the popular TV show ‘Blind Date’. Mystery Fluttr will allow users to play both the roles of the contestant and the potential match in a fun interactive feature, with Fluttr planning to release new games every 6-8 weeks. Fluttr was created out of a vision to transform the landscape of social media and give people a positive experience, as well as the safety and control they deserve. Fluttr is designed to combat the malignant behaviours proliferating on the internet. Fluttr can be downloaded through the App Store or Google Play store. As an initial launch offer, all new users registering in February will be given a three-month free trial as well as the opportunity to enter a prize draw for a case of champagne and a dinner for two at the restaurant of their choice or a £1,000 shopping voucher to revamp their wardrobe or purchase the perfect date night outfit. Fluttr’s product and brand design team includes heavyweights Simon Garner, the well-known creative director behind award-winning campaigns for Universal Music and Queen, and Rosarie King, a senior creative who has designed for Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Selfridges. Fluttr’s experienced management team includes the company’s Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Rhonda Alexander. Rhonda brings over 20 years of experience to Fluttr, having delivered fundraising and business growth initiatives for organisations such as networking group, The Chemistry Club, female finance campaign group WealthiHer and business consultancy The Maven Group. Rhonda Alexander, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Fluttr, said: “While online dating is now the most popular way to meet people, fake profiles, romance fraud and instances of abuse are taking away the fun and thrill of online dating. It’s time we reclaim the ID verification technology to create a safe space and ensure users don’t have to worry about matching with a fake profile. “As well as protecting users from fake profiles, Fluttr uses AI-powered content monitoring software to prevent unsolicited pictures and abusive language from ever reaching our users’ phones, and fun in-app games to help people connect without using inaccurate matching algorithms. We look forward to driving the move towards a more secure and engaging quest for love.” “We’re on a mission to transform social media and online dating by retaining the fun and engaging parts while working to make it safer. We know that offering a safe space for people to connect is only part of the online dating experience. So, instead of following the online dating’s industry standard of using algorithms to suggest matches with low success rates, we’re encouraging users to talk about themselves and use our in-app games to find matches and develop real relationships. We’re excited to see Fluttr help people across Britain find love by making online dating a safer and more engaging experience for everyone.” Robin Tombs, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Yoti, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Fluttr to help people across the world create new relationships safely. Using our secure ID verification technology, we’re helping Fluttr protect people from fake profiles and fraud by ensuring every person is who they say they are. We look forward to continuing working with Fluttr as they raise the security standards across the online dating industry.” Notes to editors About Fluttr Fluttr is the UK’s first online dating app to use biometric ID verification technology to create a space where people can safely find love and make new connections by ensuring every user is who they say they are. As well as creating a safe online dating platform, Fluttr is transforming the online dating landscape by offering interactive in-app games to help users connect and develop their relationships. Fluttr was developed to positively change the landscape of social media for good by ensuring users are in a safe, trusted space. The Fluttr dating app’s mission is to deliver a next-generation social application that places user security, wellbeing and fun at the heart of everything they do. www.fluttrdating.com 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. For Yoti: email@example.com