With facial scanning, Instagram intends to check the age of users
The photo sharing platform Instagram announced Thursday that it began testing a artificial intelligence (AI) based tool 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 content to adults and invasions of your privacy.
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According to technology companies, that issue is not easily resolved, but could be addressed with broader technological changessuch as linking dates of birth to a person’s cell phone.
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“We’re testing this to make sure teens and adults get the right experience for their age group,” Meta said. The video selfies 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 to within 1.5 years.
Yoti’s own data suggests that their tool is not as effective at verifying of the age of women and girls, and of people with dark skin.
Both Yoti and Meta said that the selfies 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 users’ ages.
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“I think it would be much more effective to verify ages at the device level,” he said. Instagram was rocked last year by revelations of the whistleblower Frances Haugen according to which the firm’s executives knew that the platform could harm the mental health of young people, particularly adolescent girls.
Since then, it has implemented various features intended to protect younger users.
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