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Yoti taking age estimation global as US debates online limits for minors

Yoti taking age estimation global as US debates online limits for minors
 

Biometrics developers like PixLab are rolling out new features to prevent minors from accessing certain content while Yoti says its age estimation tech will be available to Instagram users in every country by the end of 2023.

PixLab launches new age verification security feature for FaceIO

Computer vision company PixLab has released a new age verification security feature that prevents minors from accessing restricted applications. The feature is available in its web-based facial authentication framework, FaceIO.

FaceIO was launched in September last year and is designed to authenticate users through face biometrics and can be integrated into any website and web-based application through JavaScript. The new age verification feature, named fio.js V2.1, will allow the application to display an error message if a minor tries to onboard.

In a release published last week, the Houston, Texas-based company also said that its facial recognition engine is ready to fulfill the UK’s Age Check Certification Scheme (ACCS), namely the PAS 1296:2018 code of practice for online age verification.

In March, PixLab also added biometric liveness detection to FaceIO. The software-as-a-service platform offers other computer vision and media processing APIs, such as content moderation, passport and ID scanning, facial recognition, and Optical Character Recognition (OCR).

Yoti rolls out Instagram age estimation to additional 125 countries and territories

Yoti, the digital identity company that helps Meta detect minors on its applications, announced that it’s rolling out its age estimation technology for Instagram to an additional 125 countries and territories, including places such as China, Indonesia and Nigeria.

The company has plans for further expansion. By fall 2023, any adult in the world will be able to complete an age estimation by downloading the Yoti app and presenting their face to the camera, Robin Tombs, co-founder and CEO of Yoti, said on LinkedIn.

“By the end of 2023, once we have secured the model IP effectively in browsers and just five years after Yoti introduced facial age estimation, any business operating a website will easily be able to age estimate their users with sub-second liveness and age estimation with no faces leaving a user’s phone or laptop,” says Tombs.

Age estimation, the use of facial recognition to estimate age without necessarily requiring ID checks, may be sufficient for 95 percent of cases in which businesses need to know if a user is under 18, according to Tombs. Aside from Instagram, the company has been providing the technology to social platforms such as Facebook dating and Yubo as well as Modak, a fintech company focused on teenagers, which signed a deal with Yoti in May.

Connecticut drops ban on social platforms registering minors without parental consent

A bill proposed by the U.S. state of Connecticut aimed at regulating online data and privacy has dropped a provision that prohibited social media platforms from opening accounts for minors under the age of 16 without a parent or guardian’s consent.

The provision was removed from the bill in May after an amendment was adopted by the local Senate. Other provisions that regulate how online platforms process minor data have remained: According to the bill, social media platforms will have to delete the account of a minor within ten days after receiving a request from a minor or their parent or guardian if they are under the age of 16, Connecticut Inside Investigator (CII) reports.

States across the U.S. are currently debating laws that would ban social media sites from giving access to minors, sparking a push towards age verification technology but also opening questions about privacy. Last year’s Ofcom survey found that one-third of underage social media users lie about their age.

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