The photo-sharing platform Instagram announced Thursday that it has begun testing a tool based on artificial intelligence (IA) to confirm the age of its users in the United States.
Lawmakers around the world have demanded that the social networking service, owned by US tech giant Meta, protect young people from adult content and invasions of your privacy.
According to tech companies, that issue is not easily resolved, but could be addressed with broader technological changes, such as linking dates of birth to a person’s cell phone.
Meta announced the testing of new verification tools for anyone who tries change your age from under 18 to over 18 on the platform, including recording a video selfie or ask your friends to verify their age.
“We’re testing this to make sure teens and adults get the right experience for their age group,” Meta said.
The selfie on video will be sent to the British firm Yoti, which has developed an artificial intelligence tool that it says can calculate the age of those under 20 with a margin of 1.5 years.
Yoti’s own data suggests however that its tool is not as effective at verifying the age of women and girls, and people with dark skin.
Both Yoti and Meta said that the selfie will be deleted after verification.
In 2021, Instagram boss Adam Mosseri told US lawmakers that he felt it wasn’t Instagram’s job to verify the age of users. “I think it would be much more effective to verify ages at the device level,” he said.
Instagram was rocked last year by revelations from whistleblower Frances Haugen that firm executives knew that the platform could harm the mental health of young people, particularly adolescent girls. Since then, it has implemented various features aimed at protecting younger users. (YO)