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Instagram experiment with new age verification tools, scanning your face and taking video selfies

Instagram has been exploring new ways to engage and manage younger and older users. It also aims to target them with relevant and age-appropriate content and advertising. Meta, which owns Instagram, is currently testing a new set features that verify age. This includes video selfies and adult friends providing IDs.
According to The Verge you must be at least 13 years of age to create an Instagram account. However, the company has not done much to enforce this requirement. It didn’t bother to ask new users about their birthdates prior to 2019, nor did it make any effort to validate these details.
After being criticized by privacy and child safety experts, Instagram has since added age verification features to its platform.

Instagram asks users for their age only when teens attempt to change their birth date to reflect their 18th birthday. To prove their age, users can upload images of ID cards. Users in the US have two additional options: AI estimation and social vouching.

Three of the Instagram user’s mutual friends will be asked to confirm their age in order to use the social vouching method. Instagram will give the reciprocal followers three days to reply to their request. They must be at least 18 years old. The second technique, AI estimation, involves sending a video to Yoti (a third-party company that uses machine learning to determine an individual’s age).
Both the UK government as well as the German digital regulators have approved Yoti’s technology. It is a well-known player within the field of online ID verification and age verification. It uses a variety facial cues to calculate a target’s average age. However, the company admits it is not sure of the exact nature these signals. Wrinkles? Unbearable sadness in their eyes? All is combined.
Yoti allows you to test the system online. (The company claims it doesn’t keep any information that you share with them). You can see how accurate the results are in the table below. The Verge reports that Yoti has calculated age estimation errors for different skin tones and ages.
Instagram uses many AI-powered tools to try to determine the ages of its users. Since last year, the business has used automated systems to search for users below the legal age. These tools scan data like user-posted birthdays as well as the ages of their friends networks.
In other words, users who post about celebrating their 17th Birthday while pretending to be 20 years of age will have their accounts flagged. They may also need to provide proof of age. Instagram claims it is currently adding new data points to its language-analysis tool, which will help determine if a user is an adult based on the way they write.


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