Instagram is testing new age verification tools

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(Reuters) – Instagram said on Thursday it was testing new options for users to verify their age on the platform, starting with people in the United States.

The photo-sharing service owned by Meta Platforms Inc said it was testing two new ways to verify a person’s age, in addition to allowing them to upload their proof of identity online.

“When we know if someone is a teenager (13-17), we offer them age-appropriate experiences, such as default access to private accounts, prevention of unwanted contact with adults it doesn’t know and the limitation of the options advertisers have to reach them with ads,” Erica Finkle, director of data governance at Meta, said in a blog post.

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Instagram said it has partnered with Yoti, a company specializing in online age verification to ensure user privacy.

Users can upload a video selfie to verify their age, after which Yoti’s technology estimates their age based on facial features. Meta and Yoti will remove the image once age verified, Instagram said.

Another option is to select three common subscribers to confirm the age of the user, and the person vouching must be at least 18 years old.

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The move comes after Instagram halted the launch of Instagram Kids last year after receiving criticism and opposition for the project.

Instagram Kids was touted as requiring parental permission to join and was supposed to provide ad-free and age-appropriate content, but US lawmakers and advocacy groups have urged the company to scrap its launch plans, citing security issues.

(Reporting by Sheila Dang in New York and Jahnavi Nidumolu in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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