Instagram is testing new ways to verify the age of people using its service, including artificial intelligence tools to scan faces, have mutual friends verify their age, or upload IDs.
But the tool won’t be used, at least not yet, to block kids from the popular photo and video sharing app. The current test only involves verifying that the user is 18 years of age or older.
The use of AI facial scanners, particularly among teens, raised a warning on Thursday, given Instagram’s daddies’ checkered track record when it comes to protecting user privacy. Meta emphasizes that the technology used to verify a person’s age cannot recognize a person’s identity, only age. Once age verification is complete, Meta says so, and Yoti, the AI contractor it partnered with to perform the scans, will delete the video.
Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, said that starting Thursday, if someone tries to edit their birthday on Instagram from under 18 to 18 or older, they will have to verify their age using one of these methods.
Meta continues to face questions about the negative effects of its products, especially Instagram, on some teens.
Children technically have to be at least 13 years old to use Instagram, just like any other social media platform. But some people get around this by lying about their age or by having one of their parents do it. Meanwhile, teens ages 13 to 17 have additional restrictions on their accounts — for example, adults they’re not connected to cannot message them — until they turn 18.
The use of uploaded IDs is nothing new, but the other two options are. “We give people a variety of options to verify their age and see which one works best,” said Erica Finkle, Meta’s director of data governance and public policy.
To use the face scan option, users have to upload a selfie video. The video was then sent to Yoti, a London-based startup that uses people’s facial features to estimate their age. Finkle said Meta hasn’t tried to identify those under the age of 13 who use the technology because it doesn’t store data on that age group, which would be needed to properly train the AI system. But if Yoti predicts users are too young for Instagram, they will be asked to prove their age or the account will be deleted, he said.
“It never uniquely recognizes anyone,” said Julie Dawson, director of policy and regulation at Yoti. “And it’s deleted as soon as we’re done with it.”
The so-called Zuck Bucks, by Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, will serve as the so-called tokens, and according to specialized media, it’s “impossible” to be cryptocurrencies.
Yoti is one of several biometric companies leveraging a push in the UK and Europe for stronger age-verification technology to prevent children from accessing pornography, dating apps and other adult-oriented internet content. shop.
Yoti has worked with several of the UK’s major supermarkets for face-scanning cameras at self-pay counters. It also started verifying the age of users of the youth-oriented French video chat room app Yubo.
While Instagram is likely to live up to its promise to remove images of applicants’ faces and not seek to use them to recognize individual faces, normalizing facial scanning poses other social problems, said Daragh Murray, a senior lecturer at the University of Essex. Law school.
“This is problematic because there are a lot of known biases in trying to identify things like age or gender,” Murray said. “Basically, you see stereotypes and people are very different.”
A 2019 study by a US agency found that facial recognition technology often performs unevenly based on a person’s race, gender, or age. The National Institute of Standards and Technology found higher error rates for both younger and older people. There is no benchmark for age estimation of facial analysis yet, but Yoti’s self-published analysis of the results revealed the same trend, with slightly higher error rates for women and people with lighter skin tones.
Meta’s facial scan move is a departure from what some of its tech competitors are doing. Microsoft said Tuesday it will stop providing facial analysis tools to customers who “claim to infer” emotional states and identity attributes such as age or gender, citing concerns about “stereotypes, discrimination, or unfair denial of service.”
Meta announced last year that it would shut down Facebook’s facial recognition system and remove the facial prints of more than a billion people after years of scrutiny by courts and regulators. But at the time, he indicated he wasn’t going to give up entirely on facial analysis, moving away from the broad-based social media photo tagging that helped popularize the commercial use of facial recognition toward “narrower forms of personal authentication.”
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