Instagram revealed Thursday it was testing two new age verification methods that aim to ensure adolescents experience an age appropriate version of the app.
The photo-sharing app announced that current teen users in the U.S. who want to edit their birth date to indicate that they’re over 18 years old on the app will have prove that this indeed the case. Besides providing Instagram with an ID, young people will have the novel option to upload a video selfie and have it vetted by an AI specialized in facial age estimation from Yoti, a UK-based global identity and biometric technology company. Instagram stressed that only an age is inferred with Yoti’s technology, not an identity.
“We’re testing this so we can make sure teens and adults are in the right experience for their age group,” Instagram said in a blog post. It continued: “When we know if someone is a teen (13-17), we provide them with age-appropriate experiences like defaulting them into private accounts, preventing unwanted contact from adults they don’t know and limiting the options advertisers have to reach them with ads.” Instagram says it bars anyone under 13 from signing up for Instagram, and it requires new users submit their age. If a user is between 13 and 17 years old, the app makes their account private by default and limiting the ways advertisers can target them.
Yoti reports that its AI correctly identifies 13- to 17-year-olds as being under 23 years old 99.65% of the time. Meanwhile, it says that it identifies 6- to 11-year-olds as being under 13 years old 98.91% of the time. The company maintains that its tool complies with the UK and European Union versions of the General Data Protection Regulation.
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