Yoti blog

Stories and insights from the world of digital identity

Helping you avoid dating hell with DateID

Helping you avoid dating hell with DateID

The dating landscape has changed rapidly. Online dating has given singles a much easier way to expand their dating pool and meet people they may have never encountered in everyday life. But despite the benefits, meeting people online comes with a risk. With the rise of dating apps, there has also been the rise of the catfish – individuals pretending to be someone else online.  According to a report by YouGov, 50 percent of people do not trust the details on dating profiles are true. The number of people affected by online dating scams has reached a worrying high, with Action Fraud receiving over 350 reports a month in the UK.   Making online dating safer Enter DateID – the new US-based dating verification platform giving its users greater transparency about the people they meet online. Aligning closely with our own missions for greater transparency, accountability and safety online, we’re excited to announce our new partnership with DateID. DateID helps you avoid the hell of rocking up to a first date and meeting a person who has conveyed a very different identity on their dating profile. DateID builds a screening profile of your date, based on publicly available information on the web. This gives users greater confidence that someone hasn’t uploaded fake photos or provided false details, like a different age. For users wanting to prove to others that their profile is genuine, DateID offers them a number of ways to verify themselves, including linking to their social media profiles and verifying their identity with Yoti. This gives them gold status – the highest level of verification. Users who’ve completed all verifications will give other daters confidence that they are genuine. This creates a safer community of daters, reducing the risks of identity fraud and catfishing – and not to mention bad dates.   “It’s too easy to be tricked by somebody hiding behind a fake profile.”   Remy Tennant, Founder and CEO of DateID, said: “In our survey of more than 450 online daters, we found that 95 percent of users Googled each other before agreeing to meet. The problem is, even the best online sleuthing can’t catch everything.  “DateID gives online daters a fast, easy and effective way to screen each other before agreeing to meet. We’re delighted that Yoti enables us to provide our users with the industry standard in ID verification.” Our CEO Robin Tombs agrees that verified digital identities are the best way to combat catfishing and fake profiles. “It’s too easy to be tricked by somebody hiding behind a fake profile,” he said. “Yoti offers a free, simple and secure way to know exactly who you’re meeting online – helping to prevent false profiles and make digital interactions safer.  “We’re delighted to be working with DateID to give daters greater peace of mind, trust and transparency about who they’re talking to.” By compiling a true profile of a person based on their social media details and other publicly available information, DateID gives you the right intel to avoid dating hell.

3 min read
Yoti and DateID work together to create a safer community of verified online daters

Yoti and DateID work together to create a safer community of verified online daters

50% of people do not trust the details on dating profiles are true LONDON, UK – 9 September 2019 – Yoti, the digital identity app with 5 million downloads, has partnered with DateID, a new US based dating verification platform – to help create a safer and more transparent community of online daters. DateID gives individuals a quick and simple way to verify that the people they meet on dating sites are representing themselves accurately, bringing more trust and transparency online. DateID users can use Yoti to verify their identity, giving other daters reassurance and peace of mind they are genuine.  While online dating has grown over recent years, many people have fallen victim to dating fraud and romance scams which cost time, money and emotional distress. Daters are required to trust the people they meet online are who they claim to be, yet setting up fake profiles on the internet and pretending to be someone else is easy and unregulated. This results in risks of identity theft, financial fraud and catfishing – not to mention disappointing first dates.  50% of people do not trust the details on dating profiles are true, and the number of people affected by online dating scams has reached a record high, with Action Fraud receiving over 350 reports a month in the UK. In the US, over 1,300 cases are reported monthly to the FBI. The true figures are likely to be higher as many people are too afraid or embarrassed to come forward to report the crime. Yoti is working with daters and dating sites to tackle these issues and make online encounters safer.  DateID offers individuals a number of ways to verify that they’re representing themselves accurately on dating sites, including linking their social media profiles and verifying their identity with Yoti; which gives them Gold status, the highest level of verification. Users who’ve completed all DateID verifications will give other daters confidence that the person they’re meeting is real and genuine, and the details on their dating profile are true. This creates a safer community of daters, and reduces the risks of identity fraud and catfishing – and bad dates. Together, DateID and Yoti bring security, transparency and accountability to dating.  Remy Tennant, Founder and CEO DateID, explained: “Online dating is a minefield. Users have no real incentive to be truthful in their profiles, and the result is a lot of bad first dates–not to mention serious dangers like being catfished. In our survey of more than 450 online daters, we found that 95% of users Googled each other before agreeing to meet. The problem is, even the best online sleuthing can’t catch everything. DateID gives online daters a fast, easy and effective way to screen each other before agreeing to meet. We’re delighted that Yoti enables us to provide our users with the industry standard in ID verification.” Stehanie Hudson, DateID and Yoti user, said: “With so many people misrepresenting themselves on dating apps, you never know what you’re going to get. I always screen my dates, and DateID gives me way more helpful information than I can find on my own, while saving me a ton of time. I appreciate it when other users connect Yoti to DateID because it gives me 100% confidence that people are who they say they are.” Stephanie Hudson is a 35 year old User Experience Designer in mobile San Francisco, CA. See her at https://www.dateid.me/steph or https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephaniehudsonsf/.  Robin Tombs, CEO Yoti explained: “It’s too easy to be tricked by somebody hiding behind a fake profile. Yoti offers a free, simple and secure way to know exactly who you’re meeting online – helping to prevent false profiles and make digital interactions safer. We’re delighted to be working with DateID to give daters greater peace of mind, trust and transparency about who they’re talking to. Verified digital identities are a surefire way to help combat catfishing and fake profiles, making it harder for fraudsters and safer for honest people looking for love.” The Yoti app is available for free on Android and Apple phone, and transforms ID documents and biometrics into a digital identity. Yoti uses 256-bit encryption to secure user details and puts individuals in control of their data. With Yoti, the user has to give consent before their details are shared. They also know exactly what details they are sharing and who they are sharing them with.  For more information go to www.yoti.com or visit the app store on iOS and Android phones.      About DateID DateID is a US-based technology company that gives online dating users a fast, easy and effective way to screen dates before agreeing to meet. DateID scours the web for critical information and builds rich profiles that are compiled in a searchable database. In addition, verified users can curate their profiles and receive watermarked photos for use on dating sites, providing them with the ultimate in legitimacy. DateID brings security, transparency and accountability to online dating. Learn more at www.dateid.me.     About Yoti  Founded in 2014, Yoti is a global technology company on a mission to become the world’s trusted identity platform. Our free digital identity app, with over 5 million downloads, is the new, safer way to prove your age online, check out faster with age restricted items at supermarkets and save time and money proving your identity to businesses. It brings safer connections with the people you meet online as well as enabling secure website login with your biometrics instead of remembering passwords. All personal details are secured with 256-bit encryption and Yoti promotes a data minimisation approach. For more information, visit www.yoti.com.    

5 min read
Meet the 2019 Yoti Digital Identity Fellows

Meet the 2019 Yoti Digital Identity Fellows

Earlier this year, after an extended period of ­research and evaluation, we announced the launch of a new Social Purpose Strategy. With an unashamed grassroots focus, each activity is designed to help us better understand, support and empower individuals and organisations working on critical issues of identity, primarily in the Global South. A flagship activity from the Strategy is a Fellowship Programme which we launched in April. Over a two-month application period we invited proposals for research, media, policy or development solutions based on four key themes related to identity or digital identity. With a preference for applicants from the Global South, outputs from the Fellow’s activities could be anything from a technical platform, a report, a website, a book, a policy paper, a film or any other medium relevant to their proposal. Four months and over 120 applications later, we are excited to unveil the 2019 cohort of Yoti Digital Identity Fellows. Our three fellows will be focusing on issues of exclusion and human rights in Argentina, South Africa and India.   Tshepo Magoma Tshepo is an experienced researcher, strategist and innovator with a track record working in Africa’s small business and social enterprise sectors. He is particularly interested in the digitisation of the continent, and is a subject-matter expert in disruptive innovation. He is an advocate for youth entrepreneurship and has worked widely in the NGO sector. Tshepo is also a published academic and has been a speaker, facilitator and panelist at numerous events including the African Union, Africa Research Group, The Innovation Hub, ISPA iWeek 2019 and the World Youth Forum in Egypt.   Tshepo’s fellowship Over the course of his fellowship, Tshepo will be studying the digital identity landscape in South Africa, in particular its effectiveness in fighting fraud. He will examine the national digital identity programme from a human rights perspective, and propose safeguards and policy recommendations for all those involved – including public officials, lawmakers, representatives from judicial and human rights institutions, technologists, officers of development institutions, and members of the private sector. Launched in 2013, Tshepo will be particularly focused on South Africa’s national smart ID card identity programme. “For as long as I can remember it has been my ambition to become one of the leading digital researchers in Africa” says Tshepo. “I have spent the last few years focusing on the challenges and issues around digital identities, corporate innovation and disruptive innovation, as well as advocating technologies that work for marginalised communities. My Yoti Digital Identity Fellowship will give me a great opportunity to explore the issues and challenges of digital identity frameworks in the context of a developing country, which is very exciting to me.”   Paz Bernaldo Paz is a Chilean development practitioner, researcher and activist focused on open science and technology, knowledge justice and locally-led development. Currently based in Argentina, she has worked for more than ten years in different countries and with a wide range of people – from low-income immigrants to powerful government officials. She has also worked with artists, designers, technologists and researchers on large-scale technical (and experimental) projects. Paz holds a Bachelors Degree in Philosophy and is a Master of Science in Development.   Paz’s fellowship Over the course of her fellowship, Paz will focus on unravelling what digital identity, and identity in general, means to unemployed and under-employed individuals receiving support from public job centres and local labour NGOs in two major cities in Argentina – Gran Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata, the city with the highest unemployment rate in the country. Vulnerable groups are those most likely to seek help from job centres and NGOs, yet they are the ones usually most hit by the rapid digitalisation of the public space and the economy.   Paz will explore these groups’ lived experiences, starting with the recognition that they are consciously manoeuvering, enhancing, modifying or hiding parts of their identities during their job searches. As agents, they interact with a wide range of organisations and increasingly in ways that are mediated by digital tools and platforms. This mediated making and changing of their identities matters and deserves attention.  “I’m very excited to have been selected as a Yoti Digital Identity Fellow” says Paz. “When I first heard of the Programme it struck me as an incredible opportunity to spend a year focusing on a critical digital identity issue in Argentina. The Fellowship also felt like something of a personal adventure, and a wonderful opportunity to explore a topic close to my heart.”   Subhashish Panigrahi  Subhashish is a digital storyteller, researcher, documentary filmmaker and activist working towards digital freedom for marginalised communities. With leading community catalyst roles spanning almost a decade for nonprofits like Wikimedia Foundation, Mozilla, Internet Society and the Centre for Internet Society, Subhashish has helped grow the reach of the open internet across the Asia-Pacific region.  A National Geographic Explorer, he has documented languages and cultural heritages that are under great threat – including the Kusunda language of Nepal that is spoken by just two individuals. He co-founded O Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to working on marginalised issues with the objective of helping communities with open digital resources to document indigenous and endangered languages.   Subhashish’s fellowship  In India, creating a digital identity system for a developing and an extremely ethno-socially diverse economy of 1.3 billion people is not an easy task. Only by following an open and inclusive process can it bring fairness to everyone. This process should be bottom-up and be based on open community consensus, giving utmost priority to individual privacy. India’s Aadhaar, a biometric-based digital identity system, has been at the centre of many privacy- and digital rights-related discussions for its ambitious goals, with particular concerns of state surveillance. During the course of his fellowship, Subhashish will carry out focused multimedia research designed to amplify the challenges and opportunities within marginalised groups that are being (or will soon be) affected most by Aadhaar. “We all know that organisations should put people and their privacy front and center while building digital identity solutions. Technology is continuously evolving and so are the risks, and what really makes a difference are the values that drive initiatives” says Subhashish. “My Digital Identify Fellowship will give me a unique opportunity to look at the largely unexplored impact of India’s digital identity efforts through the lenses of marginalised communities.”   Next steps Tshepo, Paz and Subhashish will commence their fellowships on October 1 and will provide regular updates on their progress through the Yoti blog and our new digital identity-focused online community. If you’d like to join the community please let us know. If you’d like to contact the Fellows please send a message in the first instance to our Social Purpose Team, and they will be passed on.  Reflecting on her role as a member of the Selection Panel, Chrissy Martin is excited for what lies ahead. “We still have a long way to go in fully understanding the implications of various digital ID initiatives, especially for the most vulnerable. The diversity of applications for the Yoti Fellowship and the issues covered highlighted just how important it is to amplify a wide range of voices, as they raise issues that are rarely researched or discussed. I’m thrilled to see how these three fellows will contribute to the conversation and hopefully influence future policy decisions not only in their country, but globally.”  Applications for the 2020 Fellowship Programme will be open from next April.

7 min read
Using Yoti to buy Jägermeister

Using Yoti to buy Jägermeister

Together with Jägermeister, we’re driving responsible alcohol sales online. Our age verification app allows customers to simply and securely prove their age when using their debit card to buy from the Jägermeister online shop. It also makes it harder for children to bypass the Challenge 25 policy they face in shops, which is notoriously hard for retailers to enforce online. Until now, credit card was the only payment option to buy Jägermeister. It’s now even easier to treat a loved one to the UK’s best-selling speciality spirit.     Improving age verification online It’s too easy for young people to fake their age online. How do retailers know that people accessing their age-restricted goods or services are above the required age limit? According to Lexis Nexus, 37% of companies are concerned about selling online age-restricted goods to young people and 79% are planning to strengthen their age verification process. Currently, they have to rely on a checkbox or age affirmation page to tell them that someone is over 18. Plus, many retailers are forced to lose sales if customers cannot pay with credit card verification. This system is broken. Our partnership with Jägermeister will help to battle underage sales. The free Yoti app helps people prove their age at Jägermeister’s online shop and any other site in seconds. Because Yoti combines a photo and government issued ID document to create a digital identity, young people will no longer be able to sneak their way past online checkout with a basketful of age-restricted goods.   A modern solution that works for everyone As well as preventing underage sales, our online age verification provides customers with greater payment choice. Businesses can now be confident that their customers are age approved. The ability to pay with debit card also helps to boost sales. Regulators can rest assured that there’s a better way for businesses to verify their customers. Everyone wins.   Keeping data safe As always, privacy is our priority. The Yoti app protects individuals’ data. When buying age-restricted products from the Jägermeister online shop, people simply confirm that they are over 18; all other personal details that make up their digital identity remain private. It’s the most secure and convenient way to prove age online.   How do I buy Jägermeister products with my Yoti?  It takes less than five minutes to create a Yoti. Once set up, customers go to the Jägermeister shop and use the Yoti app to scan the Yoti QR code. Then, they share these details with Jägermeister, confirming they’re over 18 with one tap of a button. Finally, they use their debit card to checkout in seconds. We’re honoured to play such a huge part in improving age verification online and preventing underage alcohol sales. We hope to see other retailers following Jägermeister’s lead soon.

3 min read

From labour to love - online reference checking with RefNow & Yoti

When we set out to fix the broken identity system, it seemed like a digital identity solution had the potential to revolutionise so many different areas of our lives that it was hard to know where to start. It was during a Spartan race in 2014 that our founders had the epiphany of using a digital identity solution to check who people were. But another obvious use for this is the way we sign contracts and do referencing, whether that be for jobs, houses or all sorts.   The labour of referencing For most of us, chasing up references from previous employers can be long and laborious, but is often a necessary step in the interview process. It entails a lot of to-ing and fro-ing on behalf of the candidate, piecing together names, emails, contracts and references, when your time could be better spent reading the T&Cs or tying up loose ends at your previous job. And as a system, it is quite easily fiddled.   RefNow This is why we are happy to see how well our technology is working for RefNow to enhance their online reference checking system. The London-based human resource technology company focuses on workflow solutions that allow prospective employers to seamlessly and reliably request online pre-employment reference checks for suitable candidates. To use the system, an employer spends just 30 seconds adding the candidate’s name, email and phone number to the RefNow portal to create a reference request. The candidate then adds the contact details for their referees (on desktop or mobile) and the system takes care of contacting each referee to complete the online reference using their portal. Once the references have been completed, the employer can view an online report for the candidate which details the responses from each referee. It’s that simple.   Trust, time and speed James Fall, Co-Founder of RefNow said “I’m very pleased about our partnership with Yoti – it will allow RefNow to increase the robustness of our referencing process by verifying the real identity of the candidates and referees who use our system.”  “By adding the individuals real name as shown on their ID document, in addition to their verified work email address, Yoti will be helping to reduce referencing fraud, making opportunities in the job market fairer for everyone.” We’re thrilled to be working with RefNow to improve the current employment referencing process. By using their system, companies can see a faster time-to-hire than traditional phone-based reference checking, in addition to reducing the amount of time spent chasing up candidates and referees.  If you would like to know more about RefNow, you can visit their website here.

3 min read
Yoti is partnering with native to enhance student experiences

Yoti is partnering with native to enhance student experiences

We’re really excited to announce our partnership with  native, the champions of student experiences.  University is about discovery, new experiences, life-long friendships and unforgettable memories. And native understand that. From freshers’ week to society socials, spontaneous nights out to post-exam celebrations, the team at native works night and day to make sure students live their university years to the max. And if their long list of awards is anything to go by, they know how to have a good time. Their app and website provide tailored event recommendations, student discounts and exclusive tickets. Our partnership will make it easier for students to access and enjoy these events.  Students will be able to use their Yoti to securely sign on to the native website without having to remember a username or password and purchase tickets easily and securely online. In an era of constant data breaches, suffered by almost across the board by companies from Deliveroo to Google, this type of protection over our personal information and online accounts is fundamental. Yoti is becoming increasingly popular with young people as a new and safe way for them to prove their age, without showing personal information from an ID document. That’s why we’re really pleased to be working with native on a number of exciting events and opportunities for students.  Nick Musto, native CEO & Founder said, “We’re excited to partner with Yoti on our mission to improve the university experience. By being able to verify your identity in-app, our users are one step closer to effortlessly going to and enjoying the best events in their city.” We’re working with native to help make events fairer, more accessible and more affordable. We’ll also be working together to organise some exciting events, so watch this space!

2 min read

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