Instagram: testing various options to verify the exact age of users

With a view to safety for young people, but not only, Meta has announced the launch of a test to ascertain the age of Instagram users, which will offer several options to validate their age: this is what it is.
Instagram: testing various options to verify the exact age of users

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Checking the exact age of a user is important, both to better calibrate the content and advertisements delivered, but also to protect adolescents from content or experiences more suitable for an adult audience: aware of this, Meta, which already uses for the purpose of artificial intelligence (not to scan videos and photos, but to search for elements such as reference posts to birthdays) so as to be able to keep young people away from experiences such as Mentorship and Facebook Dating, has announced a series of options age verification on Instagram, being tested in the USA.

Since Instagram is reserved for those who are at least 13 years of age, in 2019 the platform began to ask for the exact age when registering the account and, in 2021, it made it mandatory for everyone to provide their age. Now, to complete this process, new options have been announced, which will appear when, perhaps because you try to circumvent the restrictions of the platform, or you have initially entered a wrong age that you then try to correct, you proceed to change your own age from a value of less than 18 years to one that is substantiated in 18 years or more.

In this case, you will have to choose a verification option. If you have it, you can upload an identification document, such as a driving license, identity card, or passport (which will be stored on Meta’s servers for 30 days before cancellation). Otherwise, you can opt for alternative solutions.

First of all, it will be possible to record and upload a selfie video: the latter will be shared with the London start-up Yoti, expert in digital identities, whose AI will estimate (trained with photos of “users from all over the world who have consented to the use of personal data for research “) the age of the sender, and then proceed, once the routine is over, to delete the data received and evaluated.

Another option is that of Social Vouching: in this case the platform randomly selects, without including family members, 6 friends, with the user having to choose 3 to confirm his age. They will receive a request, to be answered within three days, in which they will have to confirm the user’s age by choosing from various presets (- 13 years old, from 13 to 17, from 18 to 20, from 21 years onwards): in the case all three selected friends choose the same age range, the latter can be said to be verified. At the bottom of the announcement, Meta has however reassured that, from a privacy perspective, the information provided for age verification will not be visible and will therefore be private.


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