AI-powered Instagram age verification coming to Canada

Instagram aims to make sure it's providing age-appropriate content to all its users

Instagram is expanding its age-verification tools to users in Canada.

Specifically, users between the ages of 13 and 17 will be subject to the new tools. The company will use two ways to verify a person’s age, which will only be triggered if a user attempts to change their date of birth on the app from under 18 to over 18, according to CTV News.

The two ways Instagram will determine if the user is above or below 18 are by:

  1. Analyzing identification through a driver’s licence or ID card
  2. Through a video selfie

If a user decides to verify their age by the video selfie method, Instagram will use facial age estimation technology to estimate their age. Instagram says it has already tested the tool in the U.S., U.K., India, and Brazil since June 2022, and it has stopped 96 percent of teens from falsely changing their date of birth.

“When we know if someone is a teen (13-17), we provide them with age-appropriate experiences like defaulting them into private accounts, preventing unwanted contact from adults they don’t know and limiting the options advertisers have to reach them with ads,” Instagram said in a news release.

Instagram uses facial age estimation technology by Yoti, a U.K.-based digital identity company that processes the image/video to estimate the user’s age. The company clarified that its tech is not the same as regular facial recognition technology, and images are deleted by both Meta and Yoti and not stored on servers. Similarly, the company deletes video selfies from its servers within 30 days.

However, others have pointed out concerns regarding AI bias when analyzing videos. A recent Western University study found that AI not only can have the same biases as humans but can even exaggerate them in some cases. The study found that such AI sometimes falsely estimates the ages of older adults in comparison to younger ones, “and it would often overestimate the age of smiling faces.” Additionally, researchers said, “there were more inaccuracies with female faces in comparison to male faces.”

“Our results showed AI is even less accurate and more biased than human observers when judging a person’s age – even though the overall pattern of errors and biases is similar,” said research author Melvyn A. Goodale from Western University, in a news release.

This comes soon after TikTok’s new update that limits teens to access 60 minutes of screen time a day on the app.

Image credit: Instagram

Source: Instagram Via: CTV News