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Instagram Announces Major Change For All Users Amid NSPCC Fears Over Child Grooming UK News

Instagram announced a major change amid child safety concerns raised by the NSPCC that the social media platform is “the most common platform used by abusers to prepare children.”

The image-sharing platform will require all users to provide their date of birth as part of the new security measures.

As of December 2019, new account holders are asked to provide their date of birth during setup, but existing users will now be required to do the same.

The rule comes days before tech giants must comply with greater safeguards introduced by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which has already pushed Google and TikTok to make changes .

Instagram said that a dismissable notification will appear “a handful of times” when opening the app before a full screen prompt makes it impossible to access the service without entering details.

Facebook Problem Statement

Responding to concerns that children are lying about their age, Instagram said it was developing systems, such as using artificial intelligence to estimate people’s ages, based on birthday messages.

The social media platform does not allow anyone under the age of 13 to register.

“We made it clear that we want to do more to create safer and more private experiences for young people,” said Pavni Diwanji, vice president of youth products at Facebook.

“To do this we need to know everyone’s age on Instagram, so we started asking people to share their birthday with us if they haven’t shared it before.”

The deadline for complying with the ICO’s Age-Appropriate Design Code ends on September 2, which includes 15 standards digital businesses must meet.

These include having high default privacy settings for children, as well as disabling geolocation tracking, profiling, and nudge tracking features.

NSPCC Statement

Andy Burrows, head of online child safety policy at the NSPCC charity, said: “This announcement clearly came in response to the Children’s Code coming into effect this week.

“It shows that regulation works because it has a clear impact on Facebook’s design choices.

“Our data shows that Instagram is consistently the most common platform used by abusers to prepare children, so it is positive that they are making these changes, but they have not provided any substantive information as to how they will work. and will be effective.

“This shows how important it is that the new regulations are supported by an ambitious online safety bill that comprehensively tackles child sexual abuse.

“Together, they have the potential to fundamentally change the way businesses design their sites so that they truly become safe spaces for children. ”

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This notice was published: 2021-09-01 12:49:24

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