A UK firm has launched a new mobile ID app that places a strong emphasis on user privacy.
The Yoti app is designed to first confirm users with a selfie and a photo of a driver’s license or a passport. From there, additional personal details can be loaded to the app such as phone number, and then individual items of data can be shared with third parties selectively. Any third party company wishing to authenticate the user can present them with a QR code readable by the Yoti app, with end users authenticating in the app using a PIN or a video selfie in which they’re required to speak randomly generated words shown on the screen.
The app’s eponymous maker says that the encrypted data is completely private and that not even Yoti can access it, ensuring that user data cannot be sold.
It’s almost the mirror version of another new identity platform developed in the UK, Nuggets, which is designed to use blockchain and biometrics to facilitate online transactions, with users sharing only the data that needs to be shared. The major difference is that Nuggets incentivizes the sharing of data by offering users cryptocurrency rewards, whereas Yoti’s focus is on keeping data private and preventing its sale.
The Yoti app is free to Android and iOS users, with the company’s business model banking on interest from businesses, which can leverage the app to offer biometric login to staff, or to verify customer identities and ages, or even for access control to facilities. Such services are available for free now, but a fee schedule will kick in starting March 31st of 2018.
Yoti says 141,000 people, 95,000 of whom are in the UK, have downloaded a beta version of Yoti, and that it’s aiming to reach more than a million users by next summer, and to expand into Europe, the US, and India.