Technology

Facebook Dating adds age verification tools to protect under 18s

The platform is using age assurance technology from UK firm Yoti.

Facebook’s dating platform is to introduce age verification tools to confirm that only adults are accessing the over-18 version of the app.

Parent company Meta is to use age assurance technology from UK firm Yoti on Facebook Dating, which will ask users to upload an ID document or use Yoti’s facial age estimation technology, which analyses a selfie taken by the user.

Yoti said the users will be asked to verify their age when Meta’s own age detection technology finds potential discrepancies in the age someone has provided and their suspected age.

The system will initially roll out to users in the US, it was confirmed.

The move follows the introduction of similar technology on another Meta platform, Instagram, which asks users who attempt to edit their date of birth from under 18 to over 18 to verify their age through the same system.

It also comes as the Online Safety Bill returns to Parliament, new internet safety laws which once in place, would require firms to have systems in place to prevent younger users from accessing potentially harmful material.

Yoti’s chief policy and regulatory officer, Julie Dawson, said: “Enabling young people to thrive and be safe online is of the utmost importance.

“So, we’re delighted to continue our work with Meta to create age-appropriate experiences, this time on Facebook Dating.

“Daters can have greater confidence in who they are meeting online, and most importantly, young people will be better protected from accessing inappropriate content and experiences.”

Erica Finkle, Meta’s director of data governance, said: “Our age assurance tests show that our tools are working to help keep young people within age-appropriate experiences, and we’re proud to partner with Yoti to provide people with simple to use options that respect their privacy.”

Yoti facial age estimation is a privacy-preserving solution that estimates someone’s age from a selfie.

“It was built to give everyone a secure way to prove their age without sharing their name or ID document. All images are instantly deleted once someone receives their estimated age.”