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Elon Musk’s X Ventures into Controversial ID Verification Feature Amidst Changes in Blocking Accounts

The social media platform formerly known as Twitter, now rebranded as X, is gearing up to unveil novel functionality centered around identity verification.

However, the implementation of this feature has the potential to spark disagreements. Currently, the feature is exclusively available to premium “Blue” subscribers, who are mandated to utilize it. Subscribers are prompted to provide both a photograph of themselves and an official government-issued identification to substantiate their claimed identity.

Nima Owji, an app investigator, recently brought attention to this impending feature. Last week, they shared X’s announcement on their account, unveiling key details. One of the disclosed images indicated that users would need to furnish a government ID for the purpose of account verification, with an estimated processing time of around 5 minutes. Users are required to consent to X retaining their information, including biometric data, for a maximum of 30 days. The rationale behind these measures is primarily to enhance security and curtail instances of impersonation.

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To implement this new service, X has entered into a partnership with the Israeli company Au10tix.

Au10tix boasts of utilizing advanced AI and machine learning algorithms for rapid user verification, typically achieving verification in 4–8 seconds. The company’s client roster includes prominent tech entities such as Google, Uber, Microsoft, and PayPal. Au10tix employs facial recognition technology to ensure the authenticity of both customers and new sellers. We have reached out to Au10tix for their perspective and will communicate their response accordingly.

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Elon Musk, the prominent figure at the helm of X, has yet to address this impending feature publicly. An addendum appended to an article indicates that ID verification will remain an optional feature for X Blue subscribers, implying that those without the Blue subscription will remain unaffected. This note is predicated on a report from SocialMediaToday, which is grounded in Nima Owji’s investigative work. The note additionally suggests that X Blue subscribers may necessitate government ID confirmation to unlock the full spectrum of exclusive Blue features.

Specifics regarding the mechanics of this novel verification process remain scant, yet its concept bears a resemblance to other online authentication methods.

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It evokes memories of the verification utilized by the IRS in the past year. Similar to that scenario, this procedure entails individuals sharing their biometric data and governmental records with an external entity to establish their claimed identity.

Addressing the notion of online identity verification has consistently been a sensitive subject. Some individuals harbour reservations about the prospect of disclosing their ID online, likening it to an intrusion on their privacy. Nevertheless, the absence of any form of online verification mechanism can also precipitate issues. Historical instances involving X have been plagued by misinformation due to inadequate checks—instances of fabricated accounts and individuals concealing their true identities. Proponents argue that mandating universal ID presentation could counteract the spread of false information, while critics remain apprehensive about the potential compromise of personal privacy. They contend that the merits of maintaining online anonymity hold greater significance than mitigating the spread of disinformation.

Despite dissenting voices, a growing contingent appears to favour the implementation of verification protocols.

Citing concerns about child safety, certain jurisdictions advocate for platforms to disclose user identities. Ideologically conservative regions have even imposed requirements for individuals accessing adult content online to substantiate their identities. Furthermore, Europe is actively formulating legislation to institute verified online identities for e-commerce transactions. Even within the typically privacy-centric realm of cryptocurrency, there appears to be a trend towards embracing novel methods of identity authentication.

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Vanessa Waithera
Vanessa Waithera
Vanessa Waithera is a young writer from Daystar University. She has been a writer for 5 years and enjoys it as a hobby and passion. During her free time she enjoys nature walks, discoveries ,reading and takes pleasure in new challenges and experiences. Contact: [email protected]

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