Instagram launches video selfie age verification tool in UK

Instagram launches age verification tool in the UK that allows users to prove they’re over 18 using a VIDEO SELFIE

  • Users who try to edit their DOB to over 18 will be asked to verify their age
  • They can either upload a photo of their ID or record a video selfie 
  • Instagram said the new system would help ensure users were having an age-appropriate experience on the platform 

Instagram is introducing technology to help verify the age of users in the UK and EU as part of a major safety update.

Starting today, anyone who tries to edit their date of birth on Instagram from under 18 to over 18 will be asked to verify their age by either uploading their ID or record a video selfie which will be analysed by independent age estimation technology.

Instagram said the new system would help ensure users were having an age-appropriate experience on the platform.

Instagram is introducing technology to help verify the age of users in the UK and EU as part of a major safety update 

How old do you have to be to use Instagram? 

Instagram requires everyone to be at least 13 years old before they can create an account. 

‘Accounts that represent someone under the age of 13 must clearly state in the account’s bio that the account is managed by a parent or manager,’ Instagram explains on its website.

‘If your child is younger than 13 and has an account that isn’t managed by you or a manager, you can show them how to delete their account.’ 

Online safety campaigners have long called for age verification technology to become mandatory online to protect children from inappropriate and potentially harmful content.

Instagram’s age estimation system sees the company working with UK firm Yoti, which specialises in the technology.

The two companies said that after a user records their selfie it is shared with Yoti, which uses its technology to analyse facial features and then share an age estimation with Instagram.

They note that Yoti’s technology is not facial recognition technology and therefore cannot identify or recognise anyone – only estimate the age of the face it is shown.

No account details are shared with Yoti during this process and the image is instantly deleted by both Yoti and Instagram after the age has been estimated, the firms say.

Instagram first began testing the system in a number of other countries earlier this year.

Tara Hopkins, Instagram’s public policy director, said: ‘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.

‘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.’

Julie Dawson, chief policy and regulatory officer at Yoti, said: ‘Proving age online is a complex, industry-wide challenge.

‘We are delighted to continue our work with Meta to create age-appropriate experiences and enable people to thrive and be safe online.

‘Our facial age estimation is a privacy-preserving solution. 

‘We built it to give everyone a secure way to prove their age without sharing their name or an ID document.

‘The technology can allow minors to access content which is appropriate for their age, whilst protecting the privacy of users. 

‘Today’s announcement is another step in the right direction to create safer online environments.’

Instagram launches crackdown on fake accounts with new feature giving users more information

Instagram has launched a crackdown on fake accounts, introducing a new feature showing users information about who is really behind a username.

The Photo-sharing app’ more than 1 billion users will now be able to evaluate the authenticity of accounts, weeks after parent Facebook rolled out similar measures in a bid to weed out fake accounts on its social media platform.

The ‘About This Account’ feature will allow users to see the advertisements an account is running, the country where the account is located, username changes in the past year as well as other details.

To learn more about an account, go to their Profile, tap the … menu and then select ‘About This Account.’ 

There, you will see the date the account joined Instagram, the country where the account is located, accounts with shared followers, any username changes in the last year and any ads the account is currently running. 

Instagram also plans to significantly boost the number of verified accounts for public figures, celebrities, and global brands. 

Along with the account username, applicants will need to provide full real names and a copy of legal or business identification.

Instagram also said it will allow the use of third-party apps such as DUO Mobile and Google Authenticator for two-factor authentication to help users securely log in to their accounts.

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