X, formerly known as Twitter, is making headlines again with its latest announcement of a controversial identity verification feature. This feature, which is currently only available to premium “Blue” subscribers, requires users to submit a selfie along with a photo of their government-issued ID to confirm their identity.The news of this new feature was first discovered by Nima Owji, an app researcher, who shared screenshots of X’s announcement on his profile.
According to the screenshot, users will be prompted to “Verify your account by providing a government-issued ID. This usually takes about 5 minutes.” It is important to note that users must consent to a form allowing X to retain their data, including biometric information, for up to 30 days. This retention period serves the purpose of ensuring safety and security, particularly in deterring impersonation attempts. The introduction of this identity verification feature has sparked a lot of debate and controversy.
On one hand, proponents argue that it will help combat issues such as harassment, fake accounts, and online impersonation. They believe that by verifying the identity of users, X can create a safer and more trustworthy platform for its users. Additionally, this feature could potentially reduce the spread of misinformation and disinformation, as verified users tend to have more credibility.