Meta-owned Instagram is getting crafty with the age verification process. According to the company, a new method of verifying users’ ages will not compromise their privacy. Now, this feature has not been rolled out to everyone but it could soon be tested with users. The company claims it will be able to provide age-appropriate experiences for users on Instagram.
In addition to providing an ID, people will now be able to ask others to vouch for their age or use technology that can confirm their age based on a video selfie. In order to achieve all these new capabilities on Instagram, Meta is partnering with Yoti, a company that specializes in privacy-preserving ways to verify age.
The new method will be tested on users in the US. If someone attempts to edit their date of birth on Instagram from under the age of 18 to 18 or over, the app will require them to verify their age using one of three options: upload their ID, record a video selfie or ask mutual friends to verify their age.
How will a video selfie verify age?
Users will have the option to upload a video selfie to verify their age. If you choose this option, you’ll see instructions on your screen to guide you. After you take a video selfie, Instagram will share the image with Yoti. Yoti’s technology will try to estimate your age based on your facial features and share that estimate with Instagram. Meta and Yoti then delete the image. Meta claims that the technology cannot recognize your identity – just your age.
Social vouching method
Under this method, your mutual followers will have to confirm how old you are. The person vouching must be at least 18 years old, and must not be vouching for anyone else at that time. The three people you select to vouch for you will receive a request to confirm your age and will need to respond within three days.
Instagram started asking users their age in 2019. That has been made a requirement. Now, users won’t be able to access their accounts without providing their date of birth.
Instagram requires people to be at least 13 years old to sign up for Instagram. In some countries, the minimum age is higher. The picture-sharing platform says it offers teens (13-17) age-appropriate features like defaulting them into private accounts, preventing unwanted contact from adults they don’t know, and limiting the tools advertisers can use to reach them with advertisements.