Instagram has taken various measures to ensure the safety of the youngest, such as the private profile for minors. Often, however, new subscribers insert a fake birth date (the minimum is 13 years), so it is necessary to implement more effective solutions, such as those based on Facial recognition. The information collected will be deleted immediately after verification.
Instagram: Age estimation with Yoti
Testing for the new features has begun in the United States. If the minor user tries to set an age of 18 or above, Instagram will ask for verification with three options: identity document, recording a selfie video or social vouching. The first was already available, while the other two are new. The social vouching allows you to have the age confirmation from three adult friends who will receive a request, to which they must respond within three days.
Il video selfie instead it foresees the involvement of Yoti, a company that develops facial recognition technology. Age estimation is done through artificial intelligence (who a demo is available). The data collected does not allow to trace the user’s identity and will come eliminated from the Meta and Yoti servers immediately after completing the verification.
Based on an independent study, Yoti’s technology offers 98.89% accuracy, but the estimation errors they depend on age, gender and skin color. The system can be however fooled with a photo. Minors may also ask another person to check.
Instagram’s goal is to offer an age-appropriate experience (the development of the Kids version has been suspended). Since last year, other tools have been tested to find out the true age. For example, if the user claims to be 20 and shares photos of her 17th birthday, Instagram will ask for verification. In the future, the analysis of the written text is also planned to find out if the user is an adult or a minor.