Instagram will start testing strong age verification for the first time, requiring users who try to change their age from under-18 to over-18 to either upload a video selfie for automatic age verification, or find three adults to vouch for them. The changes, which are initially rolling out in the US, will apply only to users who have already indicated they are under 18, but try to edit their date of birth to gain access to age-restricted features. Those users are currently asked to upload ID to prove their age, but that approach carries privacy and security risks, which could make it undesirable for some. "Knowing people's age allows us to provide appropriate experiences to different age groups, specifically teens," the company said. "We require people to be at least 13 years old to sign up for Instagram. In some countries, our minimum age is higher. When we know if someone is a teen (13-17), we provide them with age-appropriate experiences like defaulting them into private accounts, preventing unwanted contact from adults they don't know and limiting the options advertisers have to reach them with ads."
A digital proof-of-age app being accepted by cinemas around the country could open up new ways of'cheating' for children wanting to watch inappropriate films, an expert has warned. Yesterday it was announced that the UK Cinema Association had teamed up with digital identity provider Yoti to allow children to prove their age using an app on their phone. The Yoti app consists of a digital ID card, which is created by uploading an official document such as a passport beforehand. This ID card can then be used in cinemas by children to prove they are old enough to watch an age-restricted film – meaning they don't need to bring their passports along with them. However, Jim Killock, Executive Director of Open Rights Group, claims that the system is just as vulnerable'cheating' as any other form of age verification.
Instagram is testing new age verification methods including asking followers to vouch for your age and even using AI that can estimate your age via a video selfie. It's part of a push to ensure users are at least the minimum 13 years old and "to make sure that teens and adults are in the right experience for their age group," it announced. For the "social vouching" system, Instagram asks three mutual followers of the user to confirm their age. Those followers must be at least 18 and have three days to respond to the request. Users can still verify their age with pictures of ID cards as well.
Google has announced it will be expanding age verification checks to users in Australia who want to access age-restricted content on YouTube and Google Play. In the coming month, the search giant will introduce age verification checks where users are asked to provide additional proof-of-age when attempting to watch mature content on YouTube or downloading content on Google Play. The move is to provide users with "age appropriate experiences," Google government affairs and public policy senior manager Samantha Yorke explained in a blog post. "As part of this process some Australian users may be asked to provide additional proof of age when attempting to watch mature content on YouTube or downloading content on Google Play. "If our systems are unable to establish that a viewer is above the age of 18, we will request that they provide a valid ID or credit card to verify their age."
An artificial intelligence (AI) tool that can tell if social media users are too young to use apps like Instagram and TikTok has been developed by a UK tech start-up. Yoti's'Age Estimation' system -- which may well soon be rolled out across social media -- can tell how old users between 6–18 are to a 1.5-year margin of error. The software works by comparing the user's facial features as captured via device camera against millions of other images of Yoti digital ID app users of known age. Social media firms such as Facebook have long struggled with how to handle minimum age verification without requests for passport details, which many see as intrusive. An artificial intelligence (AI) tool that can tell if social media users are too young to use apps like Instagram and TikTok has been developed by a UK tech start-up.