Children’s Privacy: New age-check tools touted by Instagram seem more about age classification (and data collection??) than safety of kids

Instagram is testing new age verification tools, which could be good, however the company objective seems focused more on knowing user information than on keeping young children safely off the platform. Plans include verifying ages by 1) asking teens to submit ID, which the company would store, then later delete; 2) having teens ask three adult friends to vouch for their age; and 3) inviting them to submit a “video selfie,” which the parent company Meta would scan to “guess” ages. The second idea seems promising, but the other two raise the privacy questions: 1) Why keep the data at all? and, 2) Guess age based on what? Seems largely unscientific.

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