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X attempts to fight impersonation with Government ID Verification

X Company

X has introduced government ID authentication for its paying X Premium subscribers, a development that was foreshadowed back in August, according to a recent report by TechCrunch. This service, which seems to be discretionary, has been unveiled in several nations, including the United States, but is conspicuously absent in the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), and the United Kingdom.

In a freshly minted help center document, X has elucidated that this authentication mechanism is primarily aimed at bolstering “safety and security measures” and thwarting instances of impersonation.

Moreover, it might find utility in screening age-appropriate content in prospective applications. In return for their participation, users will be entitled to a host of benefits, including expedited support, accompanied by a prominent marker denoting the validation of their identity (although this marker only becomes visible upon user interaction with the blue checkmark).

Down the line, X envisions streamlining the review process for Premium subscribers who have successfully authenticated their identity. This social networking behemoth has joined forces with Au10tix, an Israeli-based enterprise that specializes in the domain of identity verification.

In order to avail oneself of this feature, X mandates the submission of a consent form, granting explicit permission to both “X and Au10tix to employ images of my identification documents and my facial likeness, inclusive of the extracted biometric data, for the sole purpose of confirming my identity and to further the cause of safety and security measures, which includes the mitigation of impersonation.” It is worth noting that Au10tix retains the prerogative to retain such data for a duration of up to 30 days.

Following the acquisition of X by Elon Musk, who was at the helm of Twitter at the time, it was publicly disclosed that the verification program would undergo a significant overhaul, reserving the coveted verification badges exclusively for paying subscribers.

This initiative, however, encountered a plethora of predicaments right from its inception, chiefly stemming from issues such as widespread impersonation and the erroneous allocation of verification checkmarks to fraudulent entities and automated accounts.

Subsequently, the program underwent revisions to exclusively confer verification status upon notable institutions and individuals boasting substantial follower counts.

It is imperative to note that X does not personally administer identity checks, with the exception of the implementation of protective measures for verified entities. In stark contrast, Au10tix touts its proficiency in delivering “8-second verification devoid of any human intervention, even in part,” coupled with its pioneering technology that can detect synthetic patterns of fraud on a global scale. The firm has proudly proclaimed its prior collaborations with prominent industry titans such as Google, PayPal, and Uber.

In the preceding month, X modified its privacy policy, granting itself the capability to capture certain user data. However, it is worth acknowledging that X’s track record in terms of safeguarding user privacy has been a subject of considerable controversy.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently raised concerns over Elon Musk’s stewardship of X, asserting that it may have placed data privacy and security in a precarious position. Furthermore, it has been disclosed that the FTC has been actively investigating both the company and Musk himself since the month of March.