I provided this article to CMIT Solutions of Tacoma.
Undoubtedly you savvy Facebook and Instagram users have caught wind of a rumor – the rumor that Facebook and Instagram are requiring a government-issued ID in order to restore accounts that have been locked. I suppose the more accurate way to put it is that this rumor is in truth a fact.
For example, Instagram users that have found their account locked have been prompted by the applications to upload the picture associated with their government-issued photo ID in order to regain access to the account. Instagram locked or removed a large amount of accounts in the past few weeks for alleged violations of terms. Understandably users who encountered this new ID requirement were immediately suspicious.
Consider the fact that Instagram and Facebook have been experiencing concerns over privacy. Many customers that received an ID verification notice were concerned that the notification was initiated by identity thieves in order to gain access personal information. Complicating the issue is the fact that many users felt that no Instagram’s terms had been violated; therefore these users could not understand why their account would have been locked.
Why the run on locking customer accounts? Speculation is that Instagram wants to eliminate users who are under 13 years of age. According to the terms of Instagram and Facebook, users must be at least 13 years old to create an account. Websites that cater to the under-13 crowd have to follow a whole different set of federal requirements. These requirements include a stringent and cumbersome age verification procedure. As for Facebook and Instagram, neither provider has steps in place to screen for users under the age of 13. Without some sort of policies and procedures in place to screen for minors, Instagram and Facebook could face stiff penalties if the firms are in fact allowing underage children as users.
Therefore, Instagram has instituted the requirement that users supply a government-issued ID as an age verification tool. This procedure makes it much easier for Instagram to prevent underage users. Even if a minor possessed a passport for example, the passport clearly displays the bearers’ birthdate.
Unfortunately, there is a flaw in this method of verification. If an under-age user does not possess adequate ID, there is nothing stopping the minor from simply creating a new account. How can this be you may ask? This loophole is possible because ID verification isn’t required at the time of account creation. This problem is easily rectified with one addition in the account creation process. Instagram and Facebook could simply require ID verification when an account is created.Tweet