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Instagram expands age verification options in Germany



Meta will pay a fine of 405 million euros

Instagram is currently testing new age verification options in Germany. As soon as users change their age from under 18 to over 18 in the app, they will be asked to verify it. Users can now upload a video selfie under “Edit Birthday”. This way, even people who don’t have an ID card can easily verify themselves.

It’s a crude method, though, if you ask me: in the video selfie, age is estimated based on facial features. For this purpose, Instagram in turn makes the video available to the third-party provider Yoti. Yoti specializes in age verification. Yoti has also been certified in Germany by the voluntary self-monitoring of media service providers (FSM) and is therefore recognized as a reliable age verification technology by supervisory authorities such as the Commission for Media Protection of the youth. I’m a little skeptical myself, but haven’t had any experience with the technology yet.

Yoti’s technology can only estimate age and cannot identify people in videos, so it’s not facial recognition technology, as Instagram states. After the review, the video will be deleted by Meta and Yoti. Alternatively, it is of course also possible to download the ID if something is wrong with the video verification or you just don’t feel like it.

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