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Yoti sums up UK Online Safety Bill advice

Council plans e-signature use for housing
Yoti sums up UK Online Safety Bill advice

Yoti has summed up and published a list of recommendations from MPs regarding the Online Safety Bill, released by the UK Government in December 2021.

“While it’s the responsibility of everyone to make the internet a safer place, regulation is necessary to make businesses act responsibly,” the company writes in a blog post.

Yoti has highlighted four key recommendations suggested by MPs and peers between the bill’s first draft in May and its release in December.

The first of the recommendations called for more online regulation of what is illegal offline. The second one asked Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, to issue binding Codes of Practice in regards to what is legal online. Thirdly, MPs and peers said new criminal offenses should be defined, to deter criminals from carrying out illegal acts online. Finally, new age checks should be introduced to keep children safe from accessing pornography.

“We’re heartened to see the proposed revisions include the need for age assurance technology to protect children and the requirement to abide by minimum standards, which we heartily endorse,” Yoti writes in the post.

However, the Bill also clarifies that while privacy-protecting age assurance technologies are part of the solution, they are inherently inadequate by themselves.

“They need to be accompanied by robust requirements to protect children, for example from cross-platform harm, and a mandatory Code of Practice that will set out what is expected,” the text of the code reads.

“Age assurance, which can include age verification, should be used in a proportionate way and be subject to binding minimum standards to prevent it being used to collect unnecessary data.”

The methods that can be used for age assurance, from biometrics to self-declaration to third-party testament, and how Yoti’s technology fits with the Age Appropriate Design Code, are reviewed by the company in a separate blog post.

Sevenoaks District Council implements Yoti tech

The Sevenoaks Council said it will implement Yoti’s digital signature technology across its housing department.

The move will enable council workers to manage documents from a central location and then send digital copies to customers via email.

Recipients will, in turn, be able to add an e-signature, with the process supported by identify verification and e-witness functions.

“At a time when there is greater demand for our housing services than ever, eSign is speeding up the processing of applications while providing a more convenient service for our clients,” comments Cllr Kevin Maskell, Sevenoaks’ cabinet member for housing.

“It also cuts down on paper, helping with our ambitions to become a Net Zero carbon council by 2030,” Maskell concludes.

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