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Yoti facial age estimation accuracy improves, approval expands in Germany

Gen Z social media app broadens deployment
Yoti facial age estimation accuracy improves, approval expands in Germany

Yoti has published a report on the current state of the art in facial age estimation, and its technology has also been approved to the highest level of age assurance by German regulator KJM, and is being more broadly implemented by a social media platform customer.

The latest results from Yoti’s evaluations of its own technology show a true positive rate (TPR) of 99.65 percent for estimating the age of 13- to 17-year-olds as being under 23, and a TPR of 98.91 percent for estimating 6- to 11-year-olds as under 13. The mean absolute error for people from 13 to 19 years of age is now 1.52 years, and Yoti says gender and skin tone bias have been effectively minimized.

The new white paper on facial age estimation is 38 pages long, nearly half of which is made up of appendices, with the other half dedicated to explaining topics like the ability of humans to detect age, and why Yoti’s age estimation technology, as it does not allow the identification of an individual, does not meet the GDPR definition of ‘biometrics.’

The dataset used by Yoti and the scope of its age checking test data have each grown. The company says its training dataset for children between 6 and 12 is more now balanced, and data is provided in the latest report for people aged 60 to 70.

Yoti is up to over 500 million age checks performed so far around the world, and the company says its solution can be scaled to support tens of millions of checks each day.

The company has updated its internal evaluations regularly as part of its transparency efforts, with the last issued in October, 2021.

Germany approval expands to cover adult content

Germany’s KJM, which oversees the protection of minors from mass media, has approved Yoti’s age estimation for adult content restricted to those 18 years of age and older.

The new approval represents the first for age estimation at the highest level, according to the announcement. Adult websites operating in Germany were previously required to verify the age of their visitors by checking a physical identity document in person or through an app or video call.

The company’s technology was approved for ‘16+ (erotic)’ content in November, 2021.

Yoti says the combination of its accuracy and liveness detection gives regulators a high degree of assurance that minors will not be able to access material restricted to their age group.

Social media app expands implementation

Youth-focused social streaming app Yubo is planning to be the first social media platform to institute “wide age verification,” with the goal of verifying the age of all its users by the end of 2022 through Yoti’s technology, according to a company announcement.

Yoti has been providing its facial age estimation technology to Yubo since 2019, but under a new system will not request any identification documents unless the user’s estimated age does not match their claimed one.

Yubo users submit a selfie, which is checked with Yoti’s liveness detection before being analyzed for an age estimation.

“Expanding on our partnership with Yoti through this identity verification technology will help us continue building on what is most important – the protection of our users,” comments Yubo COO Marc-Antoine Durand. “Many young people under 16 do not have any form of ID, which makes the standard identification processes difficult. With the ability to verify users’ age without ID, we can be inclusive of all our users and add another important layer to our extensive safety practices. This technology will help us take another step towards ensuring that our young users feel safe and comfortable on Yubo.”

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