Is Facebook going to start verifying accounts with real IDs?
You can’t change your face once it’s been stolen.
Depending on your viewpoint, this new feature that Facebook is testing is either going to be welcome or the last straw before you delete your account. Spotted by app wrangler, Jane Manchun Wong, Facebook appears to be testing a way to verify accounts using a photo of your real ID.
With all the flak Facebook has taken recently for playing hard and loose with user information, would you trust them with your ID?
Facebook is testing a way to verify your account using real IDs
Facebook is working on a dedicated screen for verifying accounts using a copy of the user's ID pic.twitter.com/nBjACwupq1
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) September 27, 2019
The popup says that Facebook wants “a photo of your ID” for verification purposes. It goes on to say that information will be deleted within 30 days, after the site has verified your ID as real. That raises more questions in my mind than answers any.
What’s the policy for retention of photos of ID for accounts that aren’t able to be verified? What measures are used to store those images securely? How can Facebook say it will delete all instances of that photo, when it can’t even delete photos you upload properly?
Let’s take a look back at Facebook’s data snafus to see why uploading your actual real ID to them is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea:
- The time a bug turned 14 million users private posts to public instead
- The 800,000 people who had previously blocked users, unblocked by another bug
- The time data was leaked from third parties like Pool Time, or all your photos via a bug in the API, or via scammers
- How about the time Facebook ads were used to brainwash wives into sex
- Maybe when Messenger resurfaced messages from years ago…
I think you get the picture by now. While requiring real ID to verify your account might stop some of the fake accounts, anyone with nation-state backing can just get their fake IDs put into the real system, making any verification checks worthless.
On the other hand, uploading your real ID to Facebook is just a security leak waiting to happen, and you can’t change your face once it’s been stolen.
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