NSPCC & Yoti working together to help keep children safe online

profile picture Julie Dawson 3 min read
Yoti partners with Childline, get in touch with them at childline.org.uk or 0800 1111

At Yoti, we’re committed to using our identity checking system as a force for good. We’re a B Corporation with a set of principles to guide us and a Guardian Council of respected and influential individuals to hold us to account. We’ve also made our platform free-of-charge for individuals and charities to use.

We know that to really understand how our platform might be put to use to help solve local and global problems, we need to work with experts. So in February this year, we held a hack event to explore the challenges charities face checking ID and see how we might be able to help.


The NSPCC hack

Lizzie and Jen from NSPCC arrived at the hack with a very specific challenge. NSPCC’s Childline had partnered with the Internet Watch Foundation to provide a route for young people to report for removal sexually explicit images of themselves on the internet. However, for the IWF to remove the image, you first need to prove you’re under 18. Back then, that involved asking the young person to send a scan of their passport, which they worried put people off submitting the removal request.

Through the hack week, Lizzie and Jen worked with graduate developers from our partners, the Founders and Coders bootcamp, to thrash-out a basic design for an app to enable young people to prove their age and complete the removal request form in a smooth, anonymous online flow. They pitched their idea to a panel of Yoti staff and founders, who are passionate about online safety for children. They were instantly taken with the potential of the idea, and awarded a prize of a month of developer time to build the idea to a working prototype.

We were thrilled when, a month of development and some user-testing later, NSPCC said they’d like to go live with a fully functioning version of the app.

The pilot app is now live. Young people can use the tool on desktop computers and on their mobile phones to quickly and simply prove they’re under 18 years old and submit a request to remove the image that’s causing them distress.

Positive collaboration

We were so happy to help NSPCC with this impactful use case, and look forward to completing more projects like this.

If you’re a charity with challenges in checking people’s ID, please get in touch.