New reports revealed that the “Instagram” application checks the ages of its teenage users through a video showing the user’s photo.
In the UK and EU, these measures come as part of a major security update for the app. Anyone trying to switch from a child’s account to an adult account will be asked to verify their age by either uploading their ID or videotaping a “selfie” that will be analyzed by an independent age estimation technology.
The first step is to upload a selfie to Instagram, using UK-based Yoti, a digital identity company that makes proof of identity more secure.
Yoti analyzes selfies to determine age groups with an accuracy of 98-99%.
It works by checking facial features in a video selfie and creating an age estimate.
Once Instagram, its parent company Meta and Yoti verify the user’s age, the video will be deleted.
The second method of age verification is to upload a photo of the user’s personal identity card.
“We want everyone to experience Instagram in an age-appropriate way, which means we need to know the age – and that’s a challenge across our industry,” said Tara Hopkins, who manages public policy at Instagram.
She continued, “This is why today’s announcement is such an important step, and why we are particularly excited to be working with Yoti, who are leading the way in building effective age-verification technology, with a privacy first. This work complements our ongoing efforts to improve age detection technology.” We have, and to develop new ways to give teens the safest and most important experience on Instagram.”
This process is triggered if someone tries to edit their birthday on Instagram, from under 18 to over 18.
“Proving age online is a complex industry-wide challenge,” said Julie Dawson, Yoti’s head of policy.
Selfie-based age verification was already available in the US and is now available in the UK and EU. It’s rolling out as of today, so your app can be updated to get the latest features.