Instagram Now Asks for Your Birthday for Age Verification

In an attempt to keep younger users safe, Instagram has begun to allow all people to sign up to create a new account to provide their date of birth for Age Verification. Like its parent company Facebook, it does not require an account to be owned by anyone under the age of 13.

Social networks have repeatedly been accused of failing to do enough to protect young people using their platforms to expose them to inappropriate content.

Furthermore, as the new age-restriction does not extend to Instagram’s pre-existing one billion users, oversight is immediately avoided by any underage children already on the site.

“Starting today, we will be asking for your date of birth when creating an account on Instagram. According to our Terms of Use, you must be at least 13 years old to have an account in most countries. Asking for this information will help prevent underage people from joining Instagram, help us keep young people safer and enable more age-appropriate experiences overall. Your birthday will not be visible to others on Instagram, but you’ll be able to see it when viewing your own private account information,” Instagram said in the blog post.

According to the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, online age limits, websites, applications and other online services can not take any personal information from children under the age of 13 without parental consent.

The platform will also start to allow people to block messages from people they don’t follow in addition to the birth date requirement, and also offer business and creator accounts the power to restrict minors from accessing their comments.

Instagram will also soon begin to use user age data to educate them about the settings of the app and new privacy controls, as per the report. There will also be choices that will only allow people you follow to send you a text, answer your stories, or join a group.

So a presumption the policy change could help stave off the introduction of expensive child safety and data privacy laws as policymakers and family security groups in the U.S., UK, and elsewhere condemn the program for exposing children to inappropriate material.

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