Instagram to use video selfies as one method of age verification

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Like most social media platforms, Instagram has a minimum age for users -- in this instance, it is 13 years old. But verifying ages online -- particularly for non-adults -- has long proved difficult. Now Instagram thinks it has come up with a solution.

As part of measure to enforce age limits more strongly, Instagram is preparing to use a variety of techniques to confirm that younger users are the age they claim to be. One of the options that will be available to such users is uploading a video selfie which will be shared with age-checking agencies.

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This particular method of age verification is likely to cause concern, not only from a privacy point of view, but also because of questions about its reliability. While adult users can upload a photo of their driving license or ID card, this is not something that children are able to do, so the new age verification options will also be welcomed by many.

In a blog post about the new age verification methods, Instagram outlines the new options:

Video Selfie: You can choose to upload a video selfie to verify your age. If you choose this option, you'll see instructions on your screen to guide you. After you take a video selfie, we share the image with Yoti, and nothing else. Yoti's technology estimates your age based on your facial features and shares that estimate with us. Meta and Yoti then delete the image. The technology cannot recognize your identity -- just your age.

Social Vouching: This option allows you to ask mutual followers to confirm how old you are. The person vouching must be at least 18 years old, must not be vouching for anyone else at that time and will need to meet other safeguards we have in place. The three people you select to vouch for you will receive a request to confirm your age and will need to respond within three days.

Instagram's decision to launch AI-based age checks comes at an interesting time. Just days ago, Microsoft announced plans to retire facial recognition technology that could be used to determine age.

Image credit: GekaSkr / Depositphotos

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