Safer Internet Day: Helping young people thrive online

profile picture Yoti 4 min read

Today we’re celebrating Safer Internet Day (SID) – an EU-lead initiative encouraging safer and more responsible use of online technology. On this day, organisations around the world promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for young people.

As part of the global landmark event, this year, the UK will explore the theme ‘All fun and games? Exploring respect and relationships online’. Young people are shaping the interactive entertainment spaces they are a part of and SID 2022 celebrates their role in creating a safer internet, whether gaming and creating content or interacting with their friends and peers.

This year’s theme is a direct response to the negative behaviour young people are faced with on gaming platforms – bullying, verbally abusive language, groups ‘ganging up’ against other groups, and hate directed at LGBT+ users being just some examples. As well as creating a harmful environment, it also distracts from all the positive aspects that gaming and social platforms have to offer. 

With age assurance tools like our facial age estimation technology, we know we can help to create more positive experiences for young people using these channels. Here’s how…

 

Providing age-appropriate services to all

As of September 2021, the UK’s independent data authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), introduced the Age Appropriate Design Code, also known as the Children’s Code.

The Code aims to give young people a safe place to play, learn and explore online and is now a legal requirement. It outlines a set of standards that social media, dating, gaming, and other online services likely to be accessed by minors should follow. 

It also requires businesses to design services to be age-appropriate from the ground up. 

Before we can safeguard children online, we need to prove they are in fact children in the first place. Our facial age estimation allows us to do exactly this and we believe it will prove a valuable tool going forward in re-shaping the standards for gaming and social platforms!

 

Following the children’s code

Children's code and Yoti Facial age estimation

We’re leading the world in age assurance to enable children to enjoy their online experience. Our work with social media, dating, gaming and other online services help them to make their platforms safer by design and ensure compliance with the Code.

We can support platforms to recognise their users are a minor and discourage them from employing nudge techniques and ensure children aren’t asked to provide unnecessary personal data or make their real-time location publicly available. 

We’ve developed an array of sophisticated age assurance methods that let businesses gain the right level of assurance that someone is the appropriate age. They can choose from a range of age assurance methods to do so, from an estimated age based on a real-time selfie or a verified date-of-birth from an ID document. We only share the result of the age check, and instantly delete all personally identifiable data. 

Our formidable AI-powered facial age estimation technology allows anyone to be age checked by just looking into a camera on a device. The technology is built to be anonymous and has been proven to be much more accurate than humans, estimating 6-12-year-olds within 1.28 years and 13-19-year-olds within 1.55 years. To discover more about the accuracy rates, read our regularly-updated white paper.

Once you’ve discovered that your user is a child, you can then design a different user experience for them in line with the code. Our age assurance tools make it about knowing they’re a child and then providing them with age-appropriate gaming and social experiences, allowing them to thrive in the digital world!

Learn more about our age assurance tools.