X, the social media company formerly known as Twitter, may be preparing to implement a selfie-based identity verification system, according to independent app researcher Nima Owji. Screenshots shared by the researcher appear to show an “ID verification” prompt notifying users that they will need to share a selfie and a photo of government-issued ID.
The screenshot also point to a third party vendor with which X is working to develop the identity verification system. Owji’s posted screenshot includes a checkbox asking the user to verify, “I consent to X sharing images of my ID, including biometric data, and personal data from my profile with Au10tix for the purpose of confirming my identity.”
Au10tix (often stylized “AU10TIX”)is known for an identity verification platform that includes a biometric facial recognition capability, allowing it to match an end user’s selfie photo to their official ID. That, in turn, allows the face in question to be confidently linked to the biographic data on the ID, such as name and address.
In a recent regulatory filing, AU10TIX’s parent company, ICTS International, named “social media” among a handful of target markets.
While X has not yet made any announcements about a partnership with AU10TIX or plans to implement a selfie-based identity verification system, owner Elon Musk has long signalled a desire to fight against non-human bots on the platform. Soon after his initial announcement of plans to acquire Twitter, Musk said he would seek to “authenticate all humans” on the platform, though he didn’t offer specifics.
That having been said, the plan now does not appear to be to authenticate all humans on the site. Owji, the app researcher, indicated that ID verification will be a feature available only to premium subscribers of X’s “Blue” membership program.
August 22, 2023 – by Alex Perala