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British Esports partners with IBM, Yoti on biometric age verification

Introducing user verification system to reduce in-game toxicity


The British Esports Association has announced new details regarding its updated membership platform, including its plans to restrict underage participation through the use of Yoti’s biometrics-based age checks.

Set to launch in Spring 2021 for 12 to 19-year-olds, and later on for other age groups, the new platform will verify users’ age with biometrics at various points of entry, and will also ensure that communication within the platform is regularly reviewed to reduce toxicity and cyber threats.

The partnership between British Esports and the other companies is multi-faceted and will see each of the firms oversee an aspect of the membership platform’s enhanced security features.

For example, IBM will deploy its Watson Assistant to engage gamers via an interactive gaming avatar, as well as providing them with personalized content to improve their skills.

Moderation efforts, on the other hand, will be handled by safety technology provider GoBubble, while Yoti will provide age verification via its privacy-focused artificial intelligence technology.

Yoti allows players to verify their age, and to perform identity verification by downloading the Yoti app and using a combination of biometrics, anti-spoofing liveness detection, and ID document checks.

For context, this biometric verification technology has already been deployed by various institutions in England, the Improvement Service in Scotland, and the Government of Jersey.

Yoti, together with IBM and GoBubble has been invited by the British Esports Association to test the platform within the Information Commissioner’s Office’s (ICO) Sandbox.

“Through the ICO Sandbox, Yoti, GoBubble, and British Esports will develop privacy-preserving and ‘ethics by design’ systems that support under 13s age verification and associated parental consent,” explained Julie Dawson, Director of Regulatory and Policy at Yoti. “This same approach can support many other companies to comply in a friction-free way with the Age Appropriate Design Code and protect children,” she added.

As part of this early testing, the firms will also explore how the Red Hat OpenShift software can help scale the platform, potentially also beyond the world of esports.

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