UK supermarkets trial Yoti age estimation biometrics for alcohol purchases

yoti age verification

Digital identity platform Yoti is piloting its biometrics-based age estimation technology in several British supermarkets to allow people to buy alcohol legally.

The company’s biometric analysis technology, which is already used by a number of governmental institutions both in the UK and US, is currently being tested with plans of deployment in-store over the summer.

According to inews, Yoti is discussing the ‘alcohol sandbox’ solution with the UK’s top 10 largest retailers.

The way the AI age estimation technology would work in-store is through a camera embedded in checkout machines scanning customers’ faces to ensure they’re old enough to buy alcohol.

Based on artificial-intelligence-powered algorithms, Yoti technology can reportedly check the accuracy of individuals’ faces with an average accuracy of 2.2 years.

To ease privacy-related concerns, the British company said customers would have to openly agree to their faces being scanned by the biometric system.

Yoti also confirmed that no photos of individuals will be stored, locally or in the cloud, and all biometric data will be deleted immediately after confirming, or denying customers’ age.

In the case the system should conclude someone is not old enough to purchase alcohol, the person will have the option to share their date of birth anonymously via QR code using Yoti’s smartphone digital ID app.

While the deployment of the system is still subject to trials to confirm its legality and address privacy concerns, Yoti’s biometrics-based age estimation technology could help reduce aggression and abuse towards human staff when refusing to sell alcohol to underage customers.

The company has recently upgraded its algorithms to help firms and governments in protecting children from sexual violence online.

Yoti has also recently partnered with AML data firm Arachnys to launch an AML-compliant digital onboarding platform.

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