United for a safer internet with OSTIA

We’re honoured to be one of the founding members of the Online Safety Tech Industry Association (OSTIA), a new UK industry body dedicated to tackling online safety. 

The group brings together advisory bodies and tech companies in a shared goal of making the internet safer and hopes to provide a voice of hope by offering solutions to address key issues in a complex debate so often focused on what can’t be done.

With support from the National Crime Agency, GCHQ, the Home Office, NSPCC, the group will serve as a forum for companies working on potential solutions and create collective influence on policy, regulation and broader support for the sector. 

Our Scotland Lead, Gordon Scobbie, sits on the board on behalf of Yoti and has long been committed to safeguarding and online safety issues. After operating at every level in UK policing from constable to chief officer, he saw first-hand the scale of online grooming and sexual abuse. He now steers our work with the Scottish Improvement Service and is Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees on the Marie Collins Foundation (MCF). 

We caught up with Gordon to hear about what this means for the future of online safety. 

 

How did OSTIA come about?  

The group came out of a 2019 roundtable event that explored online harms, run by Edinburgh-based security firm Cyan Forensics and public sector startup body Public, and chaired by Joanna Shields.  We collectively realised that we had broad agreement between those attending the roundtable that there was a need for smaller technology companies involved in online safety to have a louder voice and the best way to achieve this would be to act collaboratively and collectively.  Several members of this initial roundtable session continued this work and OSTIA was born, being launched in March 2020.

 

What does OSTIA hope to achieve? 

We are committed to making the internet a safer place to be and believe that the tech industry has a lot to offer right now to get us closer to that goal. The UK is a world leader when it comes to innovative technology in this space, and with many small, agile companies at the forefront. Through our collective voice, we want to make sure solutions are known and deployed to help keep people safe online. Our involvement with DCMS has been really helpful in raising awareness of the availability of innovative safety tech and through engagement with regulators such as OFCOM. We’re raising greater awareness in this area of what we are currently capable of implementing, and where this is (and is not) being actively deployed.

What perspective or expertise do you add to the group?  

My background spans 33 years in the UK police force, and in the later stages of my career, I was the National Chief Police Lead for social media and online engagement. I’ve spent the last 8 years in the commercial world, working for technology companies spanning global corporations to smaller start ups. I have a solid understanding of how technology can help keep people safe online and know firsthand the ways it could be used to support law enforcement in the difficult job they have.

 

What role can Yoti play?   

We are a company that puts privacy, consent and data security at the heart of everything we do and we believe technology holds the key to protecting young and vulnerable online. Our digital identity app and age estimation technology are incredible tools that are already being used to keep communities safe on social media, dating sites and sharing economy platforms. Through OSTIA, we hope to further the discussion around online safety with our knowledge in the space and provide practical solutions that can be put into place today to mitigate some of the harms which exist online. Alongside other industry leaders and experts, we’re excited to provide answers to the often unanswered question of what can we do to protect people online. In many cases, the technology has been built. It’s time to use it.

Reinforcing our commitment to protecting children from online harms by joining the Point de Contact association

We are delighted to announce we have been accepted into the Point de Contact association to help the fight against abuse and inappropriate online content.

Point de Contact was created in 1998 to contribute to the fight against illegal content on the internet and facilitate the reporting of child sexual abuse material (CSAM). Point de Contact is also a member of the French Monitoring Committee for protecting children from online pornography and has been supported by successive European Commission programs. Point de Contact is a founding member of INHOPE – the International Association of Internet Hotlines which unites over 40 countries worldwide in fighting child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

Point de Contact coordinated the White Paper entitled Child sexual abuse material and online terrorist propaganda | Tackling illegal content and ensuring staff welfare. The French reporting hotline has also been adapting the reporting of suspected illegal content to new digital uses and younger generations, with a mobile app (iOS, Android) and “next gen” reporting add-ons, available across browsers. 

At Yoti, we already provides age checking services to a broad range of online businesses and organisations including social networks Yubo and GoBubble, non-profit organisations such as NSPCC Childline, and age-restricted goods providers like Jägermeister. We trust that joining the Point de Contact brings our robust age checks to more platforms and businesses with a shared interest in protecting children online.

Point de Contact’s President Jean-Christophe Le Toquin said “We are thrilled to have Yoti on board as a new member. Safety by design and age verification tools are part of the solution to advance child online protection. The impact equation for us is always innovation for better protection.

Robin Tombs, CEO of Yoti said “We’re delighted to join Point de Contact and bring our ready-made solutions to members, platforms and their users. We’re a global leader in the innovative use of age checking technology – having done over 330 million age checks in the last 18 months, helping online providers deliver age-appropriate content and services while promoting privacy and boost security.”

Yoti is offering our ID and age verification through the free Yoti app, as well as AI-powered age estimation technology, Yoti Age Scan. Yoti helps individuals and organisations know who they’re dealing with and meets internationally recognised standards and accreditations including; the UK’s BBFC, Germany’s FSM, PAS (Publicly Available PAS 1296:2018 Age Checking), as well SOC2 for secure data management. 

German regulators FSM approve our age assurance solutions to protect young people online

Read the FSM seal text here.

For the first time ever, German citizens will be able to use digital age estimation and age verification technology to access adult content online.

This comes as the German Association for Voluntary Self-Regulation of Digital Media service providers (FSM) has approved Yoti’s anonymous age estimation technology, Yoti Age Scan, and age verification via the Yoti Digital ID, to protect underage young people from accessing adult content sites.

Age verification

Age verification is a legal requirement for many businesses to ensure they are not selling age-restricted goods or services to minors. 

In face-to-face transactions, this often involves checking a passport or driving license. 

Online, it is much harder to carry out robust age checks in a way that doesn’t compromise privacy. Common methods range from asking users to tick a box, enter their date of birth or make a payment with a credit card. 

The need for robust, privacy-preserving age verification methods in the online space is no more clearly highlighted than in the recent calls to protect young people from accessing adult content sites.

As world leaders of identity verification technology, Yoti has developed anonymous age estimation technology that enables people to be age checked without an ID document, and age verification technology through the Yoti Digital ID.

 

 

Age estimation technology – how it works

Yoti’s age estimation technology allows anyone to be age checked by just looking into a camera on a device. Facial recognition technology creates a biometric template of the face, which it compares to thousands of previous photos it has studied through machine learning and gives an estimated age.

 

 

Yoti Age Scan always forgets a face

Yoti Age Scan is an anonymous age estimation tool that has no way of linking a face with a name or an identity. No information is requested before the session and all photos are instantly deleted. We have developed our technology as ethically as possible and communicate openly about  how we use biometric technology. We have also shared our approach to age estimation in roundtable sessions with civil bodies and have undertaken an Algorithm Impact Assessment with IEEE Expert Dr Alison Gardner, Keele University. 

 

Accuracy 

The age threshold can be configured by a business in the same way that a “Challenge 30” rule may be operated in a supermarket. The technology has been proven to be much more accurate than humans, estimating 13-25 year olds within circa 2 years of accuracy. For more accuracy rates, head to our regularly-updated Yoti Age Scan whitepaper.

 

Age verification with Yoti Digital ID

Those who look under the age threshold will be asked to prove their age through a different method. For this, users can use the Yoti app, which enables citizens to create a verified Digital ID with a government-issued ID document and a biometric selfie video. The onboarding process takes up to five minutes and involves a series of checks that Yoti carries out with leading technology and expert security personnel to ensure the document is valid and belongs to the person uploading it. 

 

Free, reusable digital ID

Once verified, users have a reusable digital ID that they can use to verify themselves with businesses and individuals. Thanks to a data minimisation approach, users can share just a verified age, such as “Over 18”, rather than their entire date of birth or ID document. This age token is shared with a site and is valid for up to two weeks. Both parties have an audit trail of exactly what data has been shared and the relying party will have access to anonymised metadata such as “18+ from driving license”.

 

Regulatory approval from the FSM for adult content

We’re delighted that Yoti Age Scan and Yoti Digital ID have been approved as solutions for proving age on adult content sites in Germany. 

Citizens accessing adult content will be directed to a page where they can either scan a QR code with their Yoti app to privately share their age attribute or give access to the camera on their device which will anonymously estimate their age in seconds. The age threshold will be set by the German regulator and will be reviewed periodically. More information on our combined solution for secure age verification can be found at ProveMyAge.

We’ve had brilliant feedback from the FSM’s Martin Drechsler, who believes “the innovative mechanism that Yoti has developed opens up new paths for modern and effective protection of minors in Germany. The approach can also give positive impulses to content providers and open up new ways of cooperation – which we as FSM are happy to support”.

In the words of our CEO Robin Tombs, ““We have been extremely impressed by the rigorous, scientific review of the FSM and the expert team who have audited our age assurance offerings over the last months. We are delighted to be awarded the Seal of Approval from the FSM to offer our age estimation and age verification solutions for youth media protection in the German market place.”

Yoti is delighted to be working with the FSM (The German Association for Voluntary Self-Regulation of Digital Media service providers (FSM e.V.) dedicates itself primarily to youth protection and combatting …). Within the German system of regulated self-regulation introduced by the Youth Media Protection State Treaty (JMStV) in 2003, the FSM is a recognised self -regulatory body for the area of ​​telemedia in Germany.

We’re keen to help other regulated markets where age assurance is needed. We look forward to serving adult content providers, wider organisations and consumers in the German market and supporting keeping young people safe and preserving their privacy. In years to come, age estimation AI and digital ID age verification will become globally the most popular, private and trusted way of checking age.”

If you’re interested in our age solutions, please get in touch.

Successfully completing HIPAA Compliance Readiness Assessment

We are delighted to confirm we have received a HIPAA compliance readiness report from an independent auditor.  This gives us and our clients comfort that Yoti fulfils all requirements in the HIPAA Security Rules and the Privacy Rules.

As Yoti has been built from day one with security and privacy at its core, we only needed to explain our architecture and control environment to our independent assessors, Corporate Prime Solutions.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was created to modernise the flow of healthcare information, and set out how personally identifiable information is maintained.

Our HIPAA compliance, combined with our ISO27001 and SOC2 (type 2) compliance, mean organisations and consumers can be sure our data controls and protections are legitimate.

Good Practice Guide 45 (GPG 45)

Yoti has very much welcomed the updating of GPG 45 (Good Practice Guide 45) by the GDS (UK Government Digital Services) team at the end of 2019. Yoti focuses on enabling most organisations to meet levels Low and Medium Scores of Assurance. However we are happy to support organisations who need to meet level High.  

Yoti especially welcomes the new GPG 45’s focus on new ways of verifying identity, such as chip reading of ID documents such as passports, as well as the fact that GPG 45 is also technology neutral by being outcomes-focussed rather than process-focussed.

Yoti is looking forward to the imminent publication of the new GPG 44 standard. We have seen a draft and consider it an excellent guide for the authentication of users.

How does the GPG 45 work?

The revised GPG 45 is a very useful practice guide in terms of enabling identity providers to check identity. An identity is a combination of characteristics that identifies a person. A single characteristic is not usually enough to tell one person apart from another, but a combination of characteristics might be. The GPG 45  guidance can help you check the identity of a customer, employee, or someone acting on behalf of a business. By successfully checking someone’s identity, you can be confident that you’ll give the right people access to the right things.

The number of synthetic (or made up) and stolen identities being used to commit identity fraud in the UK is growing every year. Some of the most common reasons people or criminal groups commit identity fraud are to access services or benefits they’re not entitled to, steal personal, medical or financial information from other identities, enable organised crime or avoid being detected by the police and other authorities.

Checking identities in a consistent way will reduce the chance that one person or service does less effective identity checks than others. This helps protect against identity fraud. It also means that there will be fewer people or services with less effective identity checks that could be targeted by identity fraud.

We need to know the ‘claimed identity’ of the person we’re checking. This is  a combination of information (such as someone’s name, date of birth and address) that represents the characteristics of whoever a person is claiming to be. When we have this, we can find out if the person is who they say they are. The ‘identity checking’ process under GPG45 is made up of 5 parts:

Doing different parts of the identity checking process helps us build up confidence in an identity so we can be sure someone is who they say they are. There is a score for each part of the identity checking process. How much confidence we have in an identity depends on how many pieces of evidence we can collect, which parts of the identity checking process we do and the scores for each part of the identity checking process. The different combinations of scores are known as ‘identity profiles’. Each identity profile relates to one of the following levels of confidence – low confidence, medium confidence, high or very high confidence.

We aim to get a higher level of confidence in someone’s identity if your service is at high risk of identity-related crime. Our confidence in a person’s identity can increase over time if we do extra checks or collect more evidence. 

 

Which profile to choose?

Yoti focuses on levels Low and Medium as these are the profiles that most organisations ask for; however, we are happy to support organisations looking for High confidence

1) Low confidence in the person’s identity

Compared to not doing any identity checks, having low confidence in the person’s identity will lower the risk of you accepting either synthetic identities or impostors who are not close friends or family of the identity they’re pretending to be.

By meeting this identity profile, we know each piece of evidence appears to be genuine, are confident that the claimed identity exists in the real world, have made sure your service has reduced the risks of any known identity fraud associated with the claimed identity and have checked the person going through the identity checking process matches the photo or biometric information that’s shown on the evidence.

2) Medium confidence in the person’s identity

Compared to low confidence, having medium confidence in the person’s identity will lower the risk of accepting synthetic identities or accepting impostors who are not close friends or family of the identity they’re pretending to be or who do not look like the identity they’re pretending to be.

By meeting this identity profile, we know that very strong evidence of the claimed identity exists, know the evidence is genuine and valid, have checked the claimed identity exists in the real world, have made sure we have reduced the risks of any known identity fraud associated with the claimed identity, be confident the person going through the identity checking process matches either the photo or biometric information that’s shown on the evidence.

The revised GPG 45 will accompany a new UK government-backed digital identity trust framework to be issued soon. Once published, we will engage a qualified auditor to assess our compliance.

 

Assured Advice for Yoti digital age assurance from Trading Standards

Limit contact and contagion during COVID-19. Prove your age with Yoti’s contactless ID app and age estimation technology.

Yoti’s privacy preserving solutions are compatible with Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) Assured Advice guidance for age-restricted goods including knives, lottery tickets and tobacco products. This is now reinforced by updated Assured Advice from the Primary Authority team for Yoti, based at Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards. 

This means that people can purchase these items with Yoti’s contactless ID app and age estimation solutions. The business and consumer are protected – legally and from the contagion risks that come with traditional ID checks.

 

The growing age verification challenge for retailers

Selling age-restricted items responsibly has never been easy but it’s getting harder. More needs to be done to protect retail staff working at the frontline of the Covid-19 crisis. Retailers are defying self containment to keep us supplied. Sadly, reports of attacks on people at the frontline of help have been reported and follow an unfortunate trend. 

 

More restricted items, more attacks

A recent British Retail Consortium report stated 115 shop employees are assaulted each day. The ACS Crime Report 2019 also highlighted that “enforcing age restricted sales” and preventing “alcohol sales” are among the top three reasons for rising attacks. 

There are over 150 items that require age verification in UK stores including alcohol, knives, nicotine, as well crackers, party poppers and deodorants. All fall under different laws that require retailers to show they try to prevent underage sales. 

 

AV checks for alcohol in the backdrop of social distancing

And then there’s alcohol which carries its own Mandatory Licencing Conditions (MLC). Written in 2014, it states that an ID must contain an individual’s photo, name, DOB and have a holographic mark or UV feature to be AV eligible for alcohol sales offline – all the features seen on fake IDs readily available online.

You can use a Yoti digital ID to buy alcohol online at www.jagershop.co.uk. But you can’t buy that same bottle of Jagermeister in the physical world using Yoti due to the MLC. Still, you could use Yoti to buy a knife, cigarettes, medicines, crossbows or hazardous acids. 

 

Removing friction 

Age checks make up for 50% of all interventions at the self-checkout and the average waiting time for staff to reach and review a customer idea is  63 seconds, bringing delays for everyone. 

Traditional ID checks are near impossible to handle safely and securely if we want to avoid the risk of contact and contagion during social distancing. With this in mind, it’s time for the government to move to review the MLCs in this time in order to make supermarkets a safer place for consumers and staff. 

Following assessment of Yoti’s identity verification processes, their Assured Advice includes a number of key factors that should give retailers high confidence in Yoti’s ability to help them meet their legal obligations. These include:

  • Yoti is ISO/IEC 27001 certified and has been since 2015.
  • Yoti has received a ‘clean’ SOC 2 Type 2 report from a leading professional services firm.
  • The Yoti App was certified under the ‘Age Check Certification Scheme’, to provide Electronic Identification Verification Technology (e-IDVT) to issuers of ‘PASS’ (Proof of Age Standards Scheme) cards in the UK;
  • Age Scan and the Yoti App were certified to the BBFC’s Age Verification Certification standards.
  • The Yoti App and Yoti Age Check Cards use a number of specialist and qualified staff in face comparison and document authenticity examination. This is undertaken in a ‘Security Centre’.
  • The Yoti App and Yoti Age Check Cards authenticates data cryptographically on the document chip where that is possible.
  • The Yoti App and Yoti Age Check Cards verify identity documents with the issuing authority where that is possible.
  • Yoti deploys the use of biometric technology for secure verification and authentication of users.

Yoti’s Age Verification Methods in more detail

Age Scan

Yoti Age Scan is a mature technology that uses advanced AI to estimate people’s age. It deletes the image and returns an estimated age to the retailer. Given the accuracy of Yoti Age Scan, we recommend 25 as a buffer to prevent underage sales. The mean absolute error across ages, genders and skin tones is ± 2.67 years. In addition, under 0.15% of 14 to 17 year olds are estimated to be over 25 by Yoti Age Scan as shown in our whitepaper.

Yoti ID app

The Yoti app is a free app that lets businesses securely verify and authenticate their customers in seconds. Yoti verifies the identity of individuals using a combination of leading AI technology and our expert security staff. An individual with a Yoti can then digitally identify themselves online and in-person in a way that is simple, safe and secure.

Yoti is a global, trusted identity platform that accepts over 240 forms of identification, including passports, driving licences and national IDs, from over 180 countries. Yoti promotes data minimisation and user privacy – with Yoti unable to access, mine or sell their data for marketing purposes.

For age checks. A shopper is presented with a QR code on an ePOS screen or via a Yoti Age Check card, which they scan using the Yoti app. This prompts an age check request which the consumer accepts to share their age. 

Our integrated ePOS solution tells the retailer the customer is 18+. Or Yoti Age Check cards prompts their Yoti app to display a digital ‘passport quality’ image of the consumer along with an animating security symbol and timestamp for the retailer to observe. 

It’s a modern solution that fights the age old AV problems for both retailers and consumers. Boosting speed and security while limiting contact and contagion. 

For more information contact covid19@yoti.com

Yoti is proud to be an accredited Fair Tax Mark business

We’re on a mission to become the world’s trusted identity platform and protect society from the growing threat of fraud. While building trust means ensuring our technology is robust and secure, it’s also about doing the right thing as a team of individuals and company.

Yoti’s ethical framework and principles shape every area of Yoti, from our development practices right through to our approach to taxes, which is why we’re proud to be an accredited Fair Tax Mark business after passing our annual review.

The Fair Tax Mark is an independent certification scheme, which recognises organisations that demonstrate they are paying the right amount of corporation tax in the right place, at the right time; have a transparent tax policy at the heart of their business; and are committed to following both the spirit and the letter of the law.

Paul Monaghan, Chief Executive, Fair Tax Mark said: “Yoti is taking corporate responsibility around tax transparency seriously and has made a commitment to not use tax havens or shift profits for tax avoidance purposes, instead committing to paying the tax it owes at the right time, and in the right place.”

Robin Tombs, CEO, Yoti said: “We believe paying corporate taxes is an important contribution to wider society rather than simply a cost to be minimised. Whilst many businesses pay the ‘right’ taxes, there is a concern, often fuelled by some high profile companies paying low corporate taxes, that businesses are not a force for good in society. At Yoti we have a set of principles and independent Guardians to help us to operate in the right way. This includes being honest and accountable, seeking to do the right thing and being transparent in what we are doing and why.

He continued “We believe the Fair Tax Mark helps show anyone using Yoti, working for the team or doing business with us, that we are committed to transparent and fair tax practices, including paying the right amount of tax, at the right time and in the right place.”

In becoming a Fair Tax Mark business, Yoti joins other accredited organisations including Lush, Timpson Group, SSE and the Co-operative Group.

Paul Monaghan continues: “It is estimated that €600bn of corporate profits are shifted annually to tax havens, with corporate tax revenue losses globally of €200bn per year – which equates to approximately £7bn of missing revenues in the UK.

“Paying the right amount of tax is about fairness and ensuring a level playing field for business.”

You can read our fair tax commitment here.

Yoti accepted on the government’s G-Cloud Framework

Yoti is pleased to announce that it has once again been approved to list services under the Crown Commercial Services G-Cloud framework.

G-Cloud allows UK public sector bodies to choose and buy cloud computing services without the need for a lengthy procurement process. It provides a quick and easy route to market, access to the latest technology and reduced cost of ownership. Since its inception in 2012 there has been £4.72bn worth of sales through the framework with 45% of the spend awarded to SMEs.

A range of Yoti services, covering identity verification, authentication, e-signing and age estimation are now available, via the digital marketplace on G-Cloud 11.

To find out more about the Yoti services on offer visit the Digital Marketplace or contact Gav Watts at gavin.watts@yoti.com.

Founded in 2014, we are on a mission to become the world’s trusted identity platform. Our free digital identity app, with over 4.5 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.

Yoti supports the seven ethical principles for biometrics

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.

Yoti signs the Safe Face Pledge

From today, we are a proud partner of the Safe Face Pledge.

We are firm in the belief that our technology should keep people safe and work for everyone equally. So, we support the pledge.

The Safe Face Pledge

The Safe Face Pledge urges companies using artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure that facial recognition technology is not misused to bring harm to anybody, abused by law enforcement or employed to assist secret or discriminatory government activities.

It requires its partners to show value for human life, dignity and rights, address harmful bias, facilitate transparency and embed it into their business practices.

As a digital identity platform, AI plays a crucial role in what we do every day, and as always, we want our tech to only be used for good. We’re looking forward to fully supporting an ethical and transparent approach to facial recognition.

Integrating the pledge with what we do

Our involvement with the Safe Face Pledge will ensure that we remain true to our principles. It will keep us actively focused on offering a safe and secure way to prove identity.

Robin Tombs, our founder and CEO, says:

“This pledge is an important way for us to explain to individuals that Yoti has been designed from the ground up to protect their privacy and any technology we develop is designed to be used for positive intent. Our facial recognition applications are designed to make life easier.

  • If you want to buy an age-restricted good at a self-checkout you can choose to use Yoti’s age estimation technology. It estimates your age using a photo of you and then deletes it directly afterwards.
  • Yoti’s age verification via the Yoti app lets you share just your age to buy goods at a supermarket self-checkout. The setup takes just a few minutes; you link your facial biometrics to your phone and validate them against your ID. When you’re at a checkout, you scan a QR code and take a photo of yourself to prove your age.

The system has been configured so that data is not indexed. It’s not possible for us to know what any individual is doing in their daily lives and we cannot sell on individuals’ personal data. Our business model is to charge organisations and governments for checks. Yoti is ISAE 3000 (SOC 2), Type 1 certified for its technical and organisational security processes.”

We are pleased to support the Safe Face Pledge and continue making everyday life safer and simpler for everyone.

We’ll be posting lots more about this in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out.

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