Though Instagram allows users to join their site at 13 years old, the Meta-owned platform has done little to verify the age of its account holders over the decade it has been in existence.
Per Hypebeast, the app is now testing a verification AI tool built by a third-party software company called Yoti. The tool will first be used to verify new account holders who claim to be 18 or older. In addition to the old method of uploading an ID card, users can now also either confirm their account via “social vouching” or a face scan. For social vouching, three of your followers over 18 must confirm your age, while for the face scan, users must send a video selfie which will be verified via AI estimation through Yoti. Yoti’s digital ID app is currently used in post offices, Payzone stores, and convenience stores in the UK.
Demos for Yoti’s Age Estimation can be found on the company’s website. An analysis from a third-party nonprofit found that it was 98.89 percent accurate in guessing whether people were above 18 or under 25. The site says that “You don’t need to provide an ID document and can feel assured knowing your scan is immediately deleted and will never be stored or seen by anyone.” They add, “All our demos permanently delete any details shared, including activity logs. We keep no record of your personal details.”
Instagram has revealed that its current tests don’t yet include anti-spoofing features. Anti-spoofing is a technique for identifying and dropping packets that have a false source address.