The UK and the European Union have taken steps as part of a major security update for the “Instagram” app, as new reports have revealed that the app monitors the age of its teen users via a video showing the user’s photo.
Anyone attempting to switch from a child account to an adult account will be asked to verify their age by uploading their ID or taking a “selfie” which will be analyzed by 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 98-99% accuracy. It works by checking the facial features in a selfie video and creating an age estimate.
Once Instagram, its parent company Meta and Yoti have verified 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 ID 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 in our entire industry, “said Tara Hopkins, who manages Instagram’s public policy.
He continued: “This is why today’s announcement is such an important step and why we are particularly excited to work with Yoti, who is leading the way in creating effective age verification technology, with the privacy first This work complements our efforts in course to improve age detection technology. “We have and to develop new ways to offer teens the safest and most important experience on Instagram.”
This process is triggered if someone tries to change their date of birth on Instagram, from under 18 to over 18.
“Prove the age online it’s a complex industry-wide challenge, ”said Julie Dawson, Yoti’s chief of policy.
Selfie-based age verification was already available in the US and is now available in the UK and EU.
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