Yoti is voicing its support for the UK’s Online Safety Bill, and for the Bill’s age verification provisions in particular. The first draft of the bill was published in May, and it has since been revised several times to better reflect the realities of an online world.
In that regard, the revised version of the bill includes specific guidelines designed to prevent children from accessing pornographic content. Yoti reaffirmed its commitment to that mission, noting that roughly half of UK adolescents have managed to view pornography online.
The company then went on to explain what an age-appropriate internet would look like in practical terms. Most notably, Yoti stated that organizations that want to comply with the guideline will need to implement effective age assurance technology to ensure that only those of legal age are able to gain access to adult materials.
Yoti, of course, is an established provider of age estimation and age verification technology. Its digital identity technology has been used to facilitate the online sale of age-restricted goods like alcohol, and to create age gates for restricted sites. The company’s age estimation technology can anonymously determine whether someone is over a certain age, while more ambiguous cases can use the Yoti app as proof of age without revealing any other identifying details.
Once businesses have a better sense of someone’s age, they can prevent children from accessing certain sites, and activate other features to make the internet a safer place more generally. For example, businesses can deactivate geolocation tracking when they know the user is a minor, and minimize the amount of data they collect to better comply with youth privacy regulations. They can also disable certain kinds of ads and content recommendations.
According to Yoti, those changes should be expected from any businesses that either want or need to comply with the Age Appropriate Design Code. The company believes the Code can help keep children safe, and suggested that regulations like the Online Safety Bill should be passed to make sure businesses will adhere to those principles.
January 27, 2022 – by Eric Weiss