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Instagram Does Not Use Facial Recognition

Mustafa Afandy Mustafa Afandy
22nd November 2021
Instagram Does Not Use Facial Recognition
Meta announced it will shut down its facial recognition system (Getty).

The Claim

Instagram’s video selfie feature can identify users’ identities via facial recognition technology.

Emerging story

Reports that Instagram recently asked users to take a video selfie went viral on social media. Many people alleged that Instagram introduced this new feature to verify users' identities to collect their personal information.

Misbar’s Analysis

Instagram has been working on a new policy to help reduce fake accounts and detect bots for quite some time. According to XDA Developers, the video selfie security check was first released in August of last year, but it was quickly withdrawn due to technical issues. However, a video selfies controversy has recently resurfaced on social media after some Instagram users reported being asked to take video selfies from various angles.

The security check video was spotted by social media consultant Matt Navarra, who claimed in a tweet that Instagram is using the video selfie feature to confirm users' identities. When Meta announced that it would shut down its facial recognition system earlier this month, Navarra referred to the company's promise not to collect biometric data. Instagram responded shortly after, as other users began to voice their concerns about Instagram's alleged collection of personal data via video selfies. In response to Navarra's tweet, Instagram stated that it does not use facial recognition in video selfies.

Instagram claimed that the video selfie feature was introduced more than a year ago to help confirm that the account is not a bot. According to reports, Instagram clarified that a video selfie would never be visible on the platform and deleted from the server within 30 days.

Instagram uses video selfies when it suspects an account is a bot based on suspicious activity. For example, if an account liked a large number of posts or followed a large number of accounts in a short period of time. In such a case, the video selfie would reportedly be used to confirm that the account belongs to a real person, but it would not be able to determine the person's identity or access his personal data.

Accordingly, Misbar finds the claim that video selfie uses facial ID technology to collect users’ data is misleading.

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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