Learn more about how we use biometrics

Biometrics is the measurement and analysis of your unique physical characteristics and behaviour, such as your face, your fingerprint, your voice, the way you walk, they way you use your phone and so on.

Using biometrics allows you to prove it’s really you by comparing one of these characteristics with a template you have already set up or that has been created automatically. The template is created and stored securely and then each time you need to prove that you are really you, your information is compared against the template to see if it matches.

For example, many smartphones allow access using a PIN or your fingerprint. To use your fingerprint you first need to provide it to your phone so it can create a template. Then every time you use your fingerprint to access the phone it compares it to the template and only lets you in when the fingerprints match. This prevents someone else from accessing your phone.

Apps like Yoti can use the phone’s fingerprint technology so you can log into our app using your fingerprint instead of your PIN. We don’t collect or store your fingerprint to do this.

Why do biometrics provide more security?

Instead of having to remember PIN numbers, or usernames and passwords (which may be guessed or hacked), biometrics uses something unique to you that only you have, like your face or fingerprint. Many companies, such as banks, are using biometrics like voice recognition to make sure only you can access your account.

Why does Yoti use biometrics?

Yoti is a biometric identity app. It works by allowing you to set up a trusted, genuine and verified digital identity. The biometrics are a key part of making sure we keep out fake identities and documents. The biometrics also make sure that it really is you taking actions in the app.

Essentially, all our use of biometrics is to prevent fraudulent use of Yoti and protect your data.

What biometrics does Yoti use and why?

Photo

As part of registration we will ask you to take a photo of yourself. From this photo we create a template of the key points on your face. Everytime we ask to take another photo to check it’s really you we compare the photo against the template to check it matches. For example, we will ask you to take a photo if you want to delete your account, or recover it on a new phone. These checks make sure that only you can take these actions.

ID document

You can also add an ID document to Yoti so that you can share verified identity details like your name, address and date of birth. When you add a document we will compare the photo with the face template to make sure users only upload their own documents.

Checking you’re a real person

When you add an ID document we will ask you to record a short video of yourself saying a few words. When you take certain actions in the app, such as resetting your PIN, we ask you to move the phone in a particular way. We use the information from these actions to make sure you are a real person. We can’t give you any more details about how this works, as we don’t want people to be able to get round our checks.

Internal research

As well as preventing fraud in your everyday use of the app, we need to make sure our checks continue to work and that we constantly improve them so we stay ahead of fraudsters and others who might try to provide fake identities or might try to get into your account. We have an internal research team who are constantly testing new ways to prevent fraud, and to do their job they need real biometric data from real people. However, all they have are things like photos, sections of the video or phone movement measurements. They don’t have any information that could identify you personally.

What if I change my mind and don’t want you to use my biometrics any more?

We hope you understand why biometrics are an essential security part of our app, but if you change your mind you can withdraw your agreement at any time by deleting your account in the app settings. There isn’t a non-biometric version of Yoti, so without biometrics the app just doesn’t work.