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Instagram testing new age verification mechanisms that don’t involve IDs

Instagram testing social vouching and AI-based video selfies as alternatives to IDs for age verification.

What's the news: Instagram is testing new options for people to verify their age without them having to provide an ID, Meta said in a blog post published on June 23. Users in the US can now either submit a video selfie that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to confirm their age or have friends vouch for them. Why is this important: Age verification on social media platforms is crucial to ensure children do not access platforms not meant for them and inappropriate content does not reach teens who are allowed on the platform. The most common way to verify age has been government-issued IDs. This, however, comes with privacy concerns because 1) it allows platforms to collect IDs of children, which is an additional data point, and 2) it prevents anonymity, which some users might prefer. Since Instagram's new options do not involve IDs, it could serve as a model for other platforms to follow. "Understanding someone’s age online is a complex, industry-wide challenge. We want to work with others in our industry, and with governments, to set clear standards for age verification online. Many people, such as teens, don’t always have access to the forms of ID that make age verification clear and simple. [...] In the absence of industry standards or regulation on how to effectively verify age online, we’ve invested in a combination of technologies that are more equitable, provide more options to verify age and that protect the privacy of people using our technologies." – Meta Why is age verification…

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