New Instagram feature makes you tell it real birthday – or get banned from app

It's good news for people who don't get many birthday cards, but bad news for those who care about privacy: Instagram will soon start banning people who don't give it their real birthday.

The photosharing app says it has begun asking people to share their birthdays when they open Instagram – and is even developing artificial intelligence to check whether birthdays are fake.

"If you haven't provided us with your birthday by a certain point, you'll need to share it to continue using Instagram," the company said in a press release.

It continued: "We recognize some people may give us the wrong birthday, and we're developing new systems to address this."

Instagram claims that the move is part of a wider effort to protect young people on the app with new safety features.

This includes a feature from March which prevents adults from sending messages to under-18s who don't follow them, plus making accounts for the under-16s private by default.

Users who haven't already given the Facebook-owned app their birthday will receive a notification demanding it. If you refuse, the app will begin to restrict your access.

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On top of that, Instagram will begin placing age warnings on sensitive posts, and demand you share your birthday before viewing them.

Instagram also says it plans to use AI to check your real birthday. Facebook already deploys age-detection AI which tracks things like birthday wishes to ensure personal data is consistent, and the photosharing app is likely to use the same tools.

While Instagram says that your birthday will be used to personalise adverts, it is unclear whether the app will wish you a Happy Birthday each year, as Facebook does.

  • Instagram
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Technology

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