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Yoti partners with MindGeek for biometric checks to stop online exploitation

selfie biometric authentication

One of the largest operators of pornographic websites in the world, MindGeek, has chosen Yoti to provide biometric identity verification and age checks as it steps up efforts to keep child sexual abuse and exploitative material off its sites.

In a letter written to a Canadian parliamentary committee, the Montreal-headquartered MindGeek referred to a partnership with Yoti to utilize its age and identity verification service.

“Yoti’s tools will enhance our ability to detect attempts by people to provide false identification — whether fake or belonging to another person — during the moderation process,” the company explains.

The Globe and Mail reports the service will verify the identity of ‘users’ who upload videos with biometrics. Yoti’s technology was also used in a BBC investigation of underage adult material on online and social media platforms last year.

“MindGeek has signed with Yoti for the use of our Identity verification solution, our Age Scan solution and our Digital ID solution,” a Yoti representative told Biometric Update. “This will assist MindGeek to check the identity and age of the content uploaders and also anonymously age verify visitors to their sites globally.”

MindGeek’s Pornhub averages 3.5 billion visits a month, and 6.8 million new videos are posted each year, so the number of biometric checks performed would presumably be high. The company representative told Biometric Update that Yoti has been working with MindGeek since December, but was unable to provide an estimate of how many checks have been performed with its technology.

The change comes on the heels of allegations published in the New York Times that MindGeek profits from, and takes a lax attitude towards, the proliferation of child pornography and abuse videos, and while it fights at least one lawsuit. The fallout includes Visa and Mastercard cutting ties with the company, so MindGeek surely hopes that partnering with Yoti on biometric checks can provide a way to restore the confidence of the payment networks.

Selfie biometrics has been proposed as a way to restrict access to pornography in Australia, and governments in France and elsewhere have attempted establish to age verification requirements for adult online content.

Yoti co-founded industry group the Online Safety Tech Industry Association (OSTIA) to promote online safety in late-2019.

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