Child protection online: Instagram tests new age-verification tech

Instagram Logo
Instagram Logo

Meta Platforms-owned Instagram revealed that it is testing two new options for age-verification on the photo-sharing app, in addition to allowing users to upload identity proof online.

The social media giant has partnered with age-verification specialist company Yoti to devise a feature that allows users to upload a video selfie, which is scanned by the company’s technology to estimate age based on facial features.

Instagram added that the video will be deleted from Meta’s and Yoti’s servers upon the confirmation of age.

A second feature allows users to nominate three mutual followers aged 18 or over to confirm age. These age-verification methods supplement a new feature of allowing users to upload identity proof to confirm their age. IDs are deleted from the company’s server after 30 days, Meta clarified in a blog post.

Instagram’s new features will commence testing with US-based users. The move is in line with the platform’s minimum user age requirement of 13 years old in most countries.

Age restrictions on the app default 13 to 17 year old users to private accounts, restrict unwanted interactions with adults they don’t know, and limit advertisers’ options to target them with ads.

The new age-verification options come after Instagram halted the launch of Instagram Kids last year following criticism from US lawmakers and advocacy groups.

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