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Instagram wants to use artificial intelligence to verify your age

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The social network, which is part of the Meta group (also the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp and Messenger), has teamed up with Yoti, a British start-up that is developing a facial feature recognition algorithm.

Specifically, minors residing in the United States who use Instagram and wish to change their age to 18 or older will have to justify their approach by filming themselves and sending the video to Meta.

The snippet will then be analyzed by Yoti’s algorithm to determine the age, and then it will be deleted.

Yoti says his tool’s margin of error is about 1.5 years for 13-19 year olds. The figures provided by the company show more inaccuracies for female faces and people with dark skin.

The company guarantees that its technology does not in any way allow the identification of a subject or the recovery of personal information.

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Another option explored by Instagram is to have three of the person’s contacts (all of whom must be of legal age) attest to the age listed in the app.

Young users already had and still have the possibility of providing an identity document (destroyed within 30 days) to prove their age.

Many underage people bend the rules

The minimum age to create an Instagram account is 13, but many young people circumvent this legal limit by lying about their date of birth.

Since 2021, users of the platform must communicate their birthday and provide confirmation of their age to be able to access certain content deemed inappropriate for a very young audience.

The platform has also implemented various parental control tools, including the ability to limit screen time or schedule breaks.

These devices mark an evolution of the discourse of Instagram, which previously believed that it was not responsible for age verification.

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His boss, Adam Mosseri, told lawmakers in the United States last year that he thought it made more sense for parents to take care of it. rather than asking every app, and there are millions of them, to verify age.

For some associations for the protection of children’s rights and several politicians, the measures recently put in place are however insufficient.

Instagram was rocked in 2021 by revelations from ex-Facebook employee Frances Haugen, who leaked documents showing the network’s top executives knew the app had adverse effects on the mental health of minors .

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