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On Wednesday, Microsoft told indy100 that the facial recognition used by the Daily Mail and the Express to allege a refugee was overage was never intended to be used for this purpose.
Social media users first noticed the inappropriate use of the software.
A spokesperson for the company then told us:
How-old.net was designed to be an example of how developers could build a fun app using modern development practices. It is not intended to be used as a definitive assessment of age.
Regardless, the Express and the Mail have continued to use the software to allege that child refugees admitted from the Calais camp are overage, running pieces online littered with pictures from the app.
We'll say it again - this is a stupid way to use the app, which was only ever intended to be a "fun app".
Moreover, complaining about a lack of rigorous age-testing and then using a method of age-testing widely-proven to be woefully inaccurate, is the height of idiocy and hypocrisy.
The continued use of this app as if it brings some sort of 'proof' demonstrates nothing but a bilious agenda to stoke anti-immigration hatred.
People have already made this argument on social media:
LIES: We use facial recognition software to reveal the shocking true age of teen ‘claiming to be 15.’
And her mum. https://t.co/847ORfhtfv — The DM Reporter (@The DM Reporter)
So we ran a few more photos through the app:
But yeah, keep pretending this app is evidence of anything.
More: The Daily Mail actually used a 'wildly inaccurate' age guessing app to judge child refugees