Instagram Verifies Age

Instagram plans to use AI to verify children’s age, for their safety

Instagram will need its juvenile users to verify their age using any of the following: ID card, social confirmation to verify the age or record a self-declared video selfie. 

This is an attempt to upscale their protection and privacy feature, especially to protect children from strangers and inappropriate advertisements. With this move, Instagram wants to make sure that people 17 years old and under are consuming age-appropriate content. The social media firm said in a blog, “Starting today, we’re testing new options for people on Instagram to verify their age, starting with people based in the US”. 

Age verification to protect its users from inappropriate content has been a big challenge for the social media giant, especially given the users’ ability to fake online ID cards. It is an uphill task indeed. There have been several instances where users have signed up on the platform with fake ID verification and authentication. To battle this, Instagram is now introducing an Al-powered high-end verification. If the trial is successful, this will be implemented across continents soon.

If someone is trying to edit their age from under 18 to 18 and over they will have to prove and verify that the age is appropriate. Instagram needs users to verify their age in three options: 1. Upload of ID card,  2. record a video selfie, or 3. social vouching, that is the person can select three mutual followers to confirm the age, but these mutual followers need to be well over 18.

This newly introduced feature of Instagram is creating a panic among it users amid already worsening privacy concerns. This is because, if users choose to upload the ID card it will be stored in the server for 30 days.

Instagram has allayed fears by stating that, the technology used to verify the age (Yoti), will only identify the age and not their personal details.   

Whether it be an ID card or the age verification technology tool that is partnered by Yoti, the video or the document both get deleted in 30 days.

Yoti is a company that uses AI  to verify the age of the users. Yoti calls itself an “Anonymous age estimation technology”, It is claimed to be a secure age estimation tool with data privacy and security as its core values. The algorithm of Yoti is believed to be more accurate than manual ID checks.

It is pertinent to remember that, Instagram’s parent Meta was accused back in May with a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, of misusing facial recognition technology. The lawsuit cost Meta to temporarily disable certain face filters. And now with privacy and security concerns, once again taking the limelight, it is only for us to wait and see how things turn out in the future for the social media platform. 

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