Instagram to verify your age with selfies in crackdown on ‘teens posing as adults’
INSTAGRAM is now asking youngsters to verify their age with a video selfie or ID.
If you try to switch from a child to adult account, you’ll be forced to prove your age.
It’s part of Instagram’s ongoing battle to correctly identify teens – and keep very young children off the app.
The first is by uploading a selfie in the Instagram app – using UK-based company Yoti.
Yoti analyses selfies to determine age ranges, with around 98-99% accuracy.
It works by checking your facial features in a video selfie and creating an age estimate.
Once Instagram (and its parent company Meta) and Yoti have verified your age, the video is deleted.
The second method is to upload a photo of your ID.
“We want everyone to experience Instagram in a way that’s appropriate for their age, which means we need to know how old they are – and this is a challenge across our industry,” said Tara Hopkins, who leads public policy at Instagram.
“That’s why today’s announcement is such an important step, and why we’re particularly excited to be working with Yoti, who are leading the way in building effective technology to verify age, while putting privacy first.
“This work complements our ongoing efforts to improve our age detection technology, and to develop new ways to give teens the safest and most meaningful experience possible on Instagram.”
This process is triggered if someone attempts to edit their date of birth on Meta-owned Instagram from below 18 to over 18.
The video selfie option is available for users who don’t have access to an ID.
It should prevent some youngsters from switching to an adult account.
But it’s still not possible to stop all minors from creating adult accounts.
“Proving age online is a complex, industry wide challenge,” said Yoti’s policy chief Julie Dawson.
“We are delighted to continue our work with Meta to create age-appropriate experiences and enable people to thrive and be safe online.”
Selfie-based age-verification was already available in the US, but is now available in the UK and EU.
It rolls out from today, so update your app to get the latest features.
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