Yoti pledges support for developing world identity innovation in Social Impact Strategy

Yoti pledges support for developing world identity innovation in Social Impact Strategy

Yoti has launched a new Social Impact Strategy to further the positive social impact of digital identity systems and to benefit all people, including those without a smartphone or internet connection.

The strategy (PDF) is shaped by research Yoti conducted across Africa, South East Asia, and the UK to understand different digital identity needs and opportunities. Elements of the strategy include the launch of a new annual Fellowship Program to help local researchers and policy makers understand the related issues and opportunities, providing a support program for innovation hubs, universities and business centers in the developing world to empower local innovators and thought leaders, and running competitions and challenges to support local efforts. Yoti says it will also provide a free, simple to use, offline open-source digital identity solution designed for grassroots, last-mile nonprofits and socially focused groups.

“The primary focus of much of the digital identity sector is on the design, adoption and use of large-scale digital identity systems and how users interact with them,” says Yoti Head of Social Impact Ken Banks. “Most of this research begins with the technology and works its way down to the people who use it, an approach which has resulted in a knowledge deficit. We believe the industry needs an understanding of why people might want a digital identity, how they interpret or understand digital identity, their concerns and what tools and approaches might be missing in their local context.”

“While we know there are approximately 1.1 billion people around the world without proof of identity, we know far less about their own personal motivations for wanting and using one. And without a fuller understanding of these kind of bottom-up issues, we have little chance of developing the most useful and appropriate solutions. We’ve developed our Social Impact Strategy to meet these needs.”

The strategy is meant to help leverage the potential of technologies including facial recognition, speaker recognition, and behavioral dynamics to solve identity-related challenges.

Yoti has positioned itself as a technology provider with a social benefit focus with initiatives to help UK charities and by deploying its age estimation technology to protect young people online.

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