Users By-Passing the System
An adult/abuser could ask or demand that a young person in their control poses for the photograph, with or without them knowing why, and then continue on to use the app themselves.
Likewise, a child who is under an app or platform’s age limit could ask someone older to take the photo, like a sibling or older friend.
A False Sense of Security
Even if an age verification system like Yoti works with almost perfect accuracy, we strongly recommend to never leave the responsibility of safeguarding to technology.
There are always people seeking workarounds to ‘beat’ the system and there is always room for error when it comes to AI or technology.
Young people may be misled into thinking that because another user is on the app, they have been verified as to their identity. However, they haven’t been verified via ID – only facially analysed to verify their age – and, as discussed, there is potential for users to by-pass or abuse the system.
Racial Biases and Facial Differences
Our online safety researchers were unable to find information by Yoti at this time on whether they included faces of people with disabilities/ conditions that may cause facial differences or cranio-facial disorders, such as Treacher-Collin syndrome, Down Syndrome etc.
Whilst racial bias is apparently limited, there is no further information on this, such as on the adultification of Black children.
Adultification bias occurs when black children and young people are seen as more ‘adultlike’, more ‘culpable’ and ‘less innocent’ than their white counterparts. According to the ‘Girl Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood’ report, adultification is ‘a form of dehumanization’ that robs black children ‘of the very essence of what makes childhood distinct from all other developmental periods: innocence.’