Meta is introducing age verification tools to its Facebook Dating service in the U.S. to ensure that only people 18 years old and above are accessing that portion of the social media app.
Similar to how they implemented age verification on Instagram, Meta is partnering with digital identity company Yoti for this initiative. If Facebook's automated systems detect that a user may be under 18 and trying to use Facebook Dating, they will be prompted to verify their age by either sending a video selfie or submitting a copy of their ID.
If a user chooses the former, Meta says that it will share a still image from the selfie video with Yoti "and nothing else." Yoti's age verification technology will estimate the user's age based on their facial features and then share the findings back to Meta. After this step, Yoti will delete the image. Meta assures users that the technology can only detect a user's age and not their identity.
If a Facebook user goes with the ID card option, Meta says that a copy of it will be encrypted and stored securely, and won’t be visible on their Facebook profile or to other people on the app. Once the user's age has been verified, they can manage how long their ID is saved for.
Meta says that their age verification tests show that their tools are working to help keep people within age-appropriate experiences. On Instagram, for instance, they claim to have stopped 96% of teens from changing their birthdays to make it seem like they are at least 18 years old.
Meta plans to bring the age detection technology and verification tools to other countries globally where Facebook Dating is available. They are also looking to implement the same system on experiences that require users to be at least 18 years old.