Stories and insights from the world of digital identity
Here at Yoti, we have some pretty inspiring role models – not just right up at the top, but all throughout the company. Last Thursday, two such women put on an insightful and inspiring session on women in leadership, absolutely leading by example. In a very relaxed round table, we learnt from the personal experiences and insights of our Director of Regulatory & Policy Julie Dawson, our Privacy Officer Emma Butler, and our Chief Marketing Officer Leanne Marshall. We want to thank them for their unabashed honesty and pearls of wisdom that they shared, and for being a constant source of inspiration for us. For starters, it was extremely refreshing to hear from the outset that none of them set out knowing what they wanted to do with their lives. That sounds like a dramatic statement but is often something we hear ourselves saying when we feel lost and are so frequently asked in interviews, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”. Our speakers have dabbled in lots of different projects and roles along the way. Both Emma and Julie have both spent time abroad, putting some of their language skills they learnt at university to the test teaching English in California or as an interpreter in mountain deserts and glaciers in Chile. Between them, they have worked in anything from small charities to big corporations or even founded their own ventures. Time out for maternity leave or sabbaticals has led them to explore different horizons as they have continued to develop a multitude of skills in contrasting contexts. So once we learnt that everybody carves their own path in their own way, we got to the nitty gritty. Here are some of the key takeaways that we came away with. Leadership comes in all shapes and sizes There are lots of different ways to demonstrate leadership, and you don’t always have to be specifically leading a team to do it. It is as much about taking the initiative or inspiring other people to act as it is marching troops to the battlefield. As well as being a leader of people, Emma spoke about how you could also be a leader in your field of expertise or a thought leader. Reflecting on what kind of leader you want to be and then taking note of how people you admire do this is a great way of stitching together your own quilt of leadership qualities and skills. We all need a mentor Emma, Julie and Leanne all spoke of different role models that encouraged them to take the next step on their journeys. Whether this is a work colleague, a partner, a friend or someone you have just met, we all need support and advice at times. And why not learn from someone with more years of experience and wisdom under their belt? Be confident in your abilities None of us feel like we are smashing it all of the time, no matter how great we are. Women can often be less confident than men and many of us second guess our abilities, which can paralyse us in the face of taking action. Strong opposition from others can sometimes be a catalyst for thoughts of self-doubt to creep in but don’t forget, you are in that role for a reason, be confident in yourself. Lift others up with you Despite the fact that women account for over half of the people on this planet, they are hugely underrepresented in higher positions in the workplace, along with other non-privileged groups that stray from the dominant, white male demographic. We must strive to champion under-represented groups and visibilise voices that don’t ring so loud in today’s society. The importance of a work-life balance A good work-life balance doesn’t fall into place overnight and all of our speakers said that it became more important to them later on in their careers. Women typically have care-taking responsibilities and having a family often changes the focus and your needs. The message was not to settle for an arrangement that doesn’t work for you. This means standing strong on what you need to maintain your version of a work-life balance, which for the speakers meant more flexible working hours. You can’t change people but you can change how you react to people We will all come across a whole host of different people, not just at work but in our private lives too. And the likelihood is that they will see things differently to us which can sometimes be challenging to work with. Rather than trying to change someone, a much more productive use of our time is changing how we react to them. Empathy can create a more inclusive workplace We see the world from our own point of view and often forget that people have different experiences to our own. Women can often struggle to be seen as assertive, and many feel like they have to change their behaviour as a consequence. By listening to the experiences of people from different genders, ethnicities and backgrounds, we can all strive to create a more open and inclusive environment. We had some brilliant feedback from the evening and we hope you find these insights just as valuable as we have. We hope to host many more events on these topics so watch this space for more wisdom and discussion.
London, UK, 5th July 2019 – Local businesses in Jersey, including The Channel Islands Co-operative Society and Alliance Supermarket are fighting underage sales and the rise of fake IDs by using Yoti’s digital identity app to verify the age of customers for age-restricted goods and services. Individuals can now use the free Yoti app to prove their age instead of carrying important photo ID documents such as their driving licence or passport – documents which the government and the police advise people to leave safe at home. Jersey is one of the first countries to employ the technology. Yoti has recently been recognised by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) as a digital ID for age-restricted purchases in the UK, with the new ID solution also rolling out in England now. Individuals in Jersey will be able to use Yoti to purchase age-restricted items including energy drinks, alcohol, lottery tickets and tobacco products. Concerned parents and retailers see Yoti as a welcome solution to the rising quality and accessibility of fake IDs, which are making age checks harder. Yoti is a convenient and private way for customers to prove their age – with customers sharing less personal data than a traditional ID, only disclosing that they are old enough to buy the item, not even having to share their name. Kenny McDonald, Head of Retail Operations at The Channel Islands Co-operative Society, said: “As a community retailer the Society is committed to making our members’ shopping experience as efficient and safe as possible. The increasing quality of fake IDs makes it very challenging for retailers but the Yoti app provides a great, modern solution to this age-old problem. It’s fantastic that this technology will allow individuals to prove their age in a secure way on their phones, without the need to carry their ID on them. We are delighted to be among the first retailers in the Channel Islands adopting this method.” Sergeant Paul Kemp, The States of Jersey Police Licensing Unit said: “We welcome the use of Yoti in our local convenience stores and hope this will help to tackle fake IDs, and prevent under-age drinking and the associated harm that it can cause. As well as preventing the swapping and lending of ID by young people it also offers the ability to prove your age without having to take valuable documents, such as passports and driving licences, every time you go out.” Robin Tombs, CEO and Co-Founder of Yoti explained: “We’re delighted that local businesses in Jersey are using Yoti to give their customers a safer, more convenient way to prove their age. Rather than showing valuable ID documents, which can easily be lost, stolen or misplaced, islanders and international visitors can use the free Yoti app to prove their age in seconds. Yoti is a simple, robust and free solution for newsagents and convenience stores that helps tackle fake IDs; ensuring underage individuals can’t purchase age-restricted goods.” 10% of the adult population of Jersey have already downloaded the Yoti app, a percentage expected to climb rapidly over the next year. For the second year running, Yoti will be at Out There and Weekender Festival to help tackle fake IDs and give young people a safer way to prove their age. Yoti was selected by the Government of Jersey in 2018 to provide islanders with a secure digital identity, giving them an easier and safer way to prove their age and identity. Individuals will need to download the free Yoti app on their smartphone and set up their account to purchase age-restricted goods using the app. 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 4.4 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. Notes to editors Here’s how individuals use Yoti to prove their age: The shopkeeper presents a scannable Yoti QR code to the customer. The customer scans the QR code with the Yoti app, which confirms that they’ll be sharing their photo and ‘Over 16’ or ‘Over 18’ attribute with the retailer. As an additional security measure, the retailer can request the user takes a photo of themselves to prove they are the registered account holder. The customer’s age is securely retrieved from Yoti. The phone will display the age threshold confirmation (‘over 16’ or ‘over 18’) along with a current photo
For most of us, access to live music, theatre performances and other events can often be taken for granted. But sadly this is not the case for many others. Financial constraints, care commitments and social exclusion are just some of the barriers that can prohibit people from going out and enjoying the things they love, like music events and the theatre. Introducing The Ticket Bank The Ticket Bank is an online donation platform that allows event organisers to pledge spare tickets to the website, which are then distributed to disadvantaged and marginalised individuals free of charge. By using Yoti, The Ticket Bank can ensure verified individuals can log in and register to get tickets. This initiative will help boost inclusion in the arts by giving tickets to those who deserve them and who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend the events. The idea for this platform was born when Tickets for Good participated in one of our charity hackathons. Eighteen months on and the platform is going from strength to strength. The Ticket Bank has now donated over 750+ tickets to disadvantaged people and has 275 charities registered on the platform. Aligned values Steve Rimmer, Co-Founder and CEO of Tickets for Good and The Ticket Bank said: “I’m so pleased to share our vision of making events more charitable and inclusive. Our mission is to help event organisers, sponsors and performers optimise for diversity and inclusion, so that everyone in the community can benefit from social responsibility. “Participation in social activity should be for everyone, and we are so pleased to be sharing our successful first year operating our ticket donations program and the amazing partnerships that have been already achieved across the music, theatre, film and sports industry.” A secure platform The Ticket Bank are using Yoti to help create a secure digital platform. Their trusted charity partners and non-profit community groups can securely log on to the site using Yoti, removing the need for them to remember or rely on usernames and passwords which can easily be lost, stolen or hacked. We’re delighted to be working with The Ticket Bank on such a fantastic project.
Did you know you can use Yoti as ID in thousands of convenience stores in the UK? Well, even better news – you can now use your digital ID as proof of age in all Payzone stores and for parcel collection at your local Post Office. That’s over 31,000 locations where you can use a digital ID in the UK. Wherever you see this trust mark, you can use either your Yoti or Post Office EasyID to prove who you are. They’re two different apps but both work in exactly the same way. Check out our map to see where you can use your digital ID near you. What are Yoti and Post Office EasyID? Yoti and Post Office EasyID are free apps that empower people with the tools to create a digital ID on their phones. They harness the same technology you see at the airport where you scan your passport and capture an image of your face. You only have to do this once. We verify you match your ID and your document is genuine using the latest technology and verification specialists. Once verified, you can use your digital ID to prove who you are to businesses and people you trust. Instead of sharing your whole identity, share just the necessary details to complete a transaction – such as the fact that you’re over 18 if you’re buying alcohol in the UK. We’ve built EasyID as part of our partnership with the UK’s oldest provider of identity services – Post Office. Our union brings together their accessible branch network with our world-leading technology to mark a new era for identity services in the UK. How to create a digital ID Download the free Yoti or EasyID app. Add your phone number and a PIN number. Take a scan of your face so we can verify it’s you. Add a government-issued ID document. It takes us a few minutes to match you to your ID document and verify that it’s a genuine document. We do this with a combination of AI technology and expert verification specialists. It’s completely free and once verified, you can use your digital ID over and over to prove who you are using your phone. How to use your digital ID in shops You can use your digital ID as legal proof of age for cigarettes, lottery tickets and energy drinks in around 18,000 convenience stores in the UK. Simply tap on the ID card on the home screen of your app and click show your age. Instead of revealing your full date of birth, your app will show that you’re over the required age. We designed this to protect your privacy and let you share less data when proving your age. We meet the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) Assured Advice for most age-restricted products in England, excluding alcohol. This is due to current Mandatory Licensing Conditions that state a physical ID with a holographic mark must be checked. We’re working hard to update the legislation so watch this space. How to use your digital ID in the Post Office Your digital ID is also handy for picking up parcels in the Post Office. When asked for ID, just tap on your ID card on the home screen of your app and show your name – nothing else. Why not pop into your local Post office branch and try it out? Helping retailers fight fake IDs Let’s face it, having your ID on your phone just makes sense. Not only is it much more convenient for customers, it also protects shop owners from falling prey to fake IDs and reduces physical contact. If you’re a business interested in using digital ID in your store or online, please get in touch with us. We’d love to work with you to make age checks easier for you and your customers.
We believe that our technology should keep people safe and work for everyone equally. So, we support the seven ethical principles for biometrics, released by the Biometrics Institute. These principles enable anyone working in the biometrics industry to show they’re committed to addressing ethical issues raised by new technology – biometrics in particular. Here are the seven principles. Ethical behaviour The first principle states that companies must act ethically even beyond the requirements of law. Ethical behaviour means avoiding actions which harm people and their environment. We’re proud to be one of the UK’s founding B Corps, which means that we are legally required to consider the impact of our decisions on our workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment. B Corps focus on balancing purpose and profit, and using business as a force for good. That’s why our age estimation technology, Yoti Age Scan, uses artificial intelligence for good. It simply estimates your age by looking at your face. It doesn’t store the image it captures to estimate your age or any of your personal information. Ownership of the biometric and respect for individuals’ personal data This principle requires personal data, even when shared, to be respected and treated with the utmost care by others. One of our founding principles at Yoti is to encourage personal data ownership. We believe personal data should be exactly that: personal. Individuals shouldn’t have to share an excessive amount of sensitive, personal details simply to prove their age. That’s why Yoti Age Scan does not require individuals to register in advance or provide any documentary evidence of their identity. Serving humans Technology should serve humans and should take into account the public good, community safety and the net benefits to individuals. We agree that technology should be developed and used for good. Social networking site, Yubo, is already using Yoti Age Scan to be able flag any accounts where there is suspicion or doubt about a user’s age. It’s a vital step towards helping protect young people online. Retailers will soon be able to use Yoti Age Scan at self-checkouts to give shoppers a simple and secure way of proving their age for age-restricted goods, without needing to show physical ID or wait for staff assistance. Shoppers will spend less time at the self-checkout and retail staff will be free to help with other tasks, improving the overall shopping experience. ID documents can then be left at home. No one wants to lose their documents when they’re out and about or increase their risk of identity fraud. Justice and accountability Companies should accept the principles of openness, independent oversight, accountability and the right of appeal and appropriate redress. One of our founding principles is to be transparent and accountable. This means we’re open and transparent about how we operate. With this in mind, we published a whitepaper that explores Yoti Age Scan in detail. We also have an external Guardian Council to ensure that we always seek to do the right thing and are transparent about what we’re doing and why. Promoting privacy-enhancing technology Companies should promote the highest quality of appropriate technology use including accuracy, error detection and repair, robust systems and quality control. Yoti Age Scan is a privacy-preserving system. It simply estimates your age; you don’t need to register in advance or provide any more information about your identity. The image Yoti Age Scan captures to estimate your age is permanently deleted once your age has been estimated, protecting your privacy and identity. We are constantly improving our age estimation technology and believe it is among the industry leaders in terms of accuracy. We expect this mean average figure to decrease as we continue to train the system. Recognising dignity of individuals and families Companies should support the dignity and human rights of individuals and families provided that it does not conflict with the legitimate and lawful aims of the criminal justice system to protect the public from harm. As a B Corporation, one of the things we are measured on is how our operations and business model impacts our workers, community, environment and customers. From our supply chain and input materials, to our charitable giving and employee benefits, our B Corp certification proves we are meeting the highest standards of verified performance. The B Corp certification commits us to consider stakeholder impact for the long term by building it into our legal structure. Equality This principle promotes the planning and implementation of technology to prevent discrimination or systemic bias based on religion, age, gender, race, sexuality or other descriptors of humans. Our facial recognition solutions are designed to make life easier for everyone. So we continually train Yoti Age Scan on a diverse range of genders, ages and skin tones, and we believe it is crucial to have a transparent approach when launching new technology that uses facial recognition. We recognise the sensitivity of ethnic and gender diversity when applying machine learning techniques and share details of the accuracy rates for different ages and skin tones in our whitepaper. You can read it here.
The internet is a fantastic source of creativity for young people, but they must be able to explore it safely. It is currently too easy for children to stumble across and watch age-restricted content. NSPCC research showed that nearly half (46%) of children who’ve seen pornography first saw it by accident and nearly two thirds (65%) of 15-16-year-olds have also seen it. We’ve been working hard to build ways people can prove their age by sharing the least amount of data possible. This began with our digital ID app, which lets people share the fact they’re over 18 and nothing else – not even their name. We then built a facial age estimation algorithm that lets people anonymously prove their age with just a selfie. Some of you may remember these methods as part of ProveMyAge, a solution we built in response to the UK 2017 Digital Economy Act, which sought to introduce world-leading measures to prevent children from accessing pornographic content online. The legislation was sadly dropped but we continued to work hard to develop an easy way for businesses to add age assurance to their websites and products. As we see the proposed Online Harms Bill advance the call for online safety regulations, we’re excited to announce we’ve developed an age assurance portal that offers people six privacy-preserving ways to prove their age online. Each method and it’s age threshold can be configured to adapt to different regulatory requirements, allowing a business to deliver the right balance of age assurance, speed and accessibility on their site. What are the age assurance methods? Facial age estimation For your users, it’s as easy as looking into the camera on their device. Our algorithm then instantly estimates their age based on their face. This is completely anonymous. There’s no way to link a name to a face, and the image is deleted as soon as the age is given. You can read more about this technology here. Yoti app People can use the free Yoti app to share the fact that they’re over 18. This is the only piece of information shared – there’s no need to share a date of birth. The app is free to download and empowers anyone with the tools to create a digital ID, using an ID document and a selfie. Yoti verifies each app holder with leading verification tools, so when they come to share their details with a business, it takes just seconds. ID document This method allows people to scan their ID document and take a selfie using their laptop or phone. Our seamless identity verification technology quickly matches the user to their document to verify their age securely. By using NFC and OCR technology to extract data, a user’s identity can be verified in under a minute. Credit card check We can verify your customer is over 18 by using their credit card details. Mobile provider check We can also verify whether your customer is over 18 by using their mobile provider details. Database checks By checking a users’ name, date of birth and address against a database, we’re able to verify their age to make sure they’re old enough to use a service. Combatting online harms with privacy-preserving age assurance tools Age assurance will be a key step in helping to protect children online. To hear more about how you can comply with upcoming age verification legislation or deliver age-appropriate services inline with the Age Appropriate Design Code, please get in touch.