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After US, Instagram introduces age-verification testing program in India

Instagram is testing age verification of users, now expanded to India and Brazil amid concerns of child safety and privacy online

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While Twitter floods with gossip on The Wire-Meta controversy, Instagram announced expanding its age-verification testing program to India and Brazil, reported Tech Crunch. However, the social media platform said it will be removing the option of ‘social vouching’ as a verification option. Earlier, Instagram had posted on its blog about new ways to verify user’s age without compelling them to make an ID in the US. It partnered with UK-based start-up Yoti that estimates the age of users based on a video selfie uploaded by them. As per the Tech Crunch report, both companies said they delete the data afterward. The announcement comes at a time when Meta and its many platforms are under the microscope for dragging its feet on user privacy and safety, particularly of children. Why it matters: Age-verification is increasingly becoming a heated topic, especially after the California government recently passed its Age-Appropriate Design Code Act. In India, the now-withdrawn Data Protection Bill 2021 allows platforms to process children’s personal data after verifying their age and obtaining parental consent. However, it does not suggest any age verification mechanisms. Since India still does not have a data protection law, the consequences of a facial feature scanning system going through the faces of India’s youths can be much more sinister than parts of the US that have data protection laws in place. Instagram removes social vouching option Social Vouching was an experimental way age verification that allowed a user to request their mutual followers aged 18 years or…

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I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

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