Instagram tests face scans to help users verify their age


(Pocket-Lint) – Instagram is exploring new ways for users to verify their accounts, including a method aimed at estimating age through facial video scans.

Currently, an example where app users have to verify their age when they edit their date of birth, which can be done through the photo on the ID card. However, the meta-owned app is now introducing several new methods to help streamline the process – social vouching via video selfies and AI guessing.

The former, social vouching, simply saw three mutual followers of Instagram users asking them to confirm their age, these followers naturally need to be verified as being over 18 years old. Those who have been asked have been given three days to respond to their request.

The face-scanning method involves users sending a video selfie to a third-party company, Yoti, which then uses machine learning to estimate the person’s age.

Yoti already uses similar technology for ID verification that works by identifying facial signals, approved by the UK government and digital regulators in Germany. You can actually try it Here, the company indicates that it does not keep any data shared with you.

It’s not yet clear how Instagram will use the technology to help its own verification methods, but we hope it works in much the same way as Yoti’s web demo.

And it will probably be a welcome addition to the app experience. After all, users must be at least 13 years old to sign up for an Instagram account, the app really had no way to help control it – even new users weren’t asked their date of birth – until 2019. Even then, only last year it became mandatory for all users to input the date of birth (although this can be taken automatically from a Facebook account).

The app is improving in this regard, though, and now uses tools that aim to identify hints in the likes of birthday celebration posts, checking to see if the details match the user’s claimed age. If they do not, they will be flagged and age verification may be required

This pair of newly introduced methods, then, forms part of a larger effort from Instagram to help users improve safety and security in the app – and while this is certainly a very complex assignment, such things seem to be a step in the right direction. Right side.

Written by Connor Allison.

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