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Instagram Asking For Your Government Issued Photo IDs Now, Too (talkingpointsmemo.com)
167 points by darrikmazey on Jan 26, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 134 comments

The instagram TOS debacle some weeks ago was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. I recently stopped using Instagram, and requested account deletion from Facebook.

Graph search and its creepy implications were then nothing I needed to find personally objectionable anymore.

I no longer have to complain about the other sleazy, move-the-goalposts, amoral aspects of Facebook Instagram.

This latest one, I have to say, should not be surprising to anybody.

DELETE YOUR ACCOUNT if you don't like it. You will still have friends, I promise :-)

Before you file for account deletion, you might want to do two things:

1) use http://www.picknzip.com/ to download the pictures of you from other people (I have a couple that I liked that I can use for other profile pics, etc.). (The other photos in my facebook albums that I uploaded myself, I already have elsewhere.)

2) associate your facebook account with a yahoo email address. You can download all the contact information of your facebook friends that way (I don't know if this still works, but it did last year)

This is, AFAIK, the only way to export your facebook friends' data

3) go to your full friends list, scroll down until the infinite scrolling loads the whole list. copy and paste this in an email to yourself.

These three steps should ensure that you don't "lose" any data about your friends on facebook, and will allow you to email them later.

"DELETE YOUR ACCOUNT if you don't like it. You will still have friends, I promise :-) "

Yes, you still will have friends, but you will lose friends, connections with businesses, and other abilities. I swore off facebook for one year after having been on it since...I don't know...maybe 2004 or 2005ish?

The modern Facebook account has everything from a person's college girlfriend, to the pictures of their first born. Yes it has some mundane things like what you ate for lunch, it also has messages from you and your friends debating over the Affordable Health Care Act. For a lot of people, it isn't just flipping a switch. You will not speak as often to that person that now lives on a different coast even though you both have each other's email.

Then there are the things that impact you even though you're still friends with people. For example, invites to events like Halloween parties are often sent by things like Facebook, so even though you see those people once or twice a week, you still become the asshole that has to be filled in while everyone else is already up to speed already.

Then you have local businesses and chains that only have their hours and specials on Facebook (or at least their Facebook account is the only one they actively maintain) Old Chicago in my area is an example. They have a national website, but the specials that change every Tuesday night are only posted to their Facebook page.

Nothing convinced me to invest in Facebook more than quitting Facebook.

Is it OK if I just don't care and keep my Facebook account anyway? I've never used Instagram (why would I want a camera app with built-in filters to make everything look shitty when I have a perfectly good camera app that makes everything look OK?) and I don't keep anything private on my Facebook account anyway.

Yikes, there are a lot of sleezy ads on that picknzip page. Like the "installIQ" version of 7-zip.

No reason to use a website like that, you can download your Facebook data directly from the source:


I don't think that gets photos of you that other people have taken, though.

If anybody knows a way to get that, let me know.

Or you can roll like a haxor and use http://fbcmd.dtompkins.com/ to download other peoples photos of you. That's what I did.

You can also use a tool like the iMacros plugin [1] for Firefox to automate the deletion of your wall posts, photos, etc., for whatever good that does. It's not like they actually get deleted from the server, but makes me feel a bit more comfortable.

[1]: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/imacros-for-f...

"I no longer have to complain about the other sleazy, move-the-goalposts, amoral aspects of Facebook Instagram."

Yet here you are...

The biggest issue for me is apps in the developer area. I'd love to drop my FB account but I have active projects that use FB login.

Well drop everything from your facebook then. Remove all photos statuses, friends, etc.

I have friends who work at Facebook. I still don't know how they rationalize their employment.

Like FB or not (I don't), it provides a lot of value to a lot of people. While it might not promote the ideals some of us "hacker" types have, on the whole, it is not flat-out evil like, say, some of those toolbar companies or botnet groups.

Additionally, apart from writing in PHP, there must be tons of technical fun and deep problems to solve that makes FB fairly unique.

And also, I'm not really sure how unethical it'd be to work for them, even if you felt they were wrong. Unless you're bringing some rare 4-sigma value to FB, it's likely they'd just get someone else. Might as well be you, where you have a chance to influence things.

In addition to that, they do some good for the larger community, such as starting the Open Compute Project (http://www.opencompute.org/). That effort is what has me considering Facebook as a next career step (I would love to work on that stuff).

Now, this is not an attempt to defend Facebook's actions here or in their other recent efforts. I am merely providing another point of evidence to support MichaelGG's point that Facebook is not flat-out evil, and provide a reason someone might want to work for them despite their recent behavior.

Yes, I know all of that but weighed against the new social graph search and (what appears to me) to be a disingenuous and constantly shifting privacy policy, it isn't much.

I still remember SPYW, when sharing across Google services got overblown. It is nothing compared to Facebook automatically making your data public that wasn't public before.

I don't know about them, but I know someone from a different company who has it all figured out. Every time their company does something nasty, they just donate to the EFF.

Must be nice to have it wrapped up all tidy like.

It seems like a legitimate way to reconcile one's conscience with the realpolitik of modern IT employment, engaged as we are in building the surveillance state/police state/nanny state we were all warned about by 20th century novelists and historians.

I try to do this when I buy an RIAA-published album or watch a Hollywood film. I make sure I donate an equivalent amount to civil-liberties orgs (EFF, ALA, and others) during that year.

"Carbon credits," basically.

Kinda funny, when I inadvertently buy a TV show or movie that features global warming propaganda, I donate the same amount of money to Climate Audit or Bishop Hill.

I have to admit it is quite astonishing to see someone denying climate change is a huge issue on a site dedicated to computer-logic based businesses that are future-focused, a site populated by many under 30.

Climate change is the primary challenge for the next few generations, and once we move on from 'debate' we see that there are a wealth of opportunities in mitigation, reduction of CO2 output and coping with the impact. Just ask Elon Musk.

I emphatically disagree with the "overwhelming judgement of science" when it comes to this issue. And I'm thoroughly disgusted by the profiteering that accompanies the global warming campaign. Let's see who is in denial 20 years from now.

Permalink For Great Justice: http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1990/to

Which of these scenarios do you think is more likely?

That a group of nonprofits and academic institutions all colluded over a decade or three to make money in a very roundabout way for groups they don't have any direct involvement with?


That a group of oil industry types, in a nod to the junk science used by big tobacco for years, colluded over a decade or three in an attempt to discredit something that will directly impact their bottom lines in a bad way?

Follow the money. Hell, follow human nature.

Or, that everybody was wrong because they were working from an incorrect or incomplete model.

That's what has actually happened a few gazillion times throughout human history, unlike either of the other two scenarios you posit.

The best thing we can do is force the climate scientists to make specific predictions, then look back in a few decades and evaluate those predictions. Predictive power isn't everything, it's the only thing.

So far, the predictive power of the vaunted "scientific consensus" has been mixed. Personally, I'm not as satisfied with the quality of the models or the data as I would like to be, given the magnitude of the changes to global economics that are being demanded on the basis of those models and data.

So I'll ask you the same thing I've asked every other climate change denier:

Show me a critical analysis of the data that wasn't commissioned by or sponsored by the energy industry or any organization or person connected to it.

When you're invoking doomsday to obtain grants or subsidies:


Indeed. Anyone asserting that the current body of science is wrong about climate change should be able to back that up with data from non-questionable sources.

When you understand that there are no "non-questionable sources," you'll understand the point people are trying to make in this thread.

Extraordinary claims may or may not require extraordinary proof -- at least one famous environmentalist said so, anyway -- but extraordinary demands most certainly do.

>When you understand that there are no "non-questionable sources"

Rubbish. Are you seriously telling me that nobody has done critical analysis of the data who wasn't associated with the energy industry?

Permalink for Great Justice? Here's a graph from 1970 (rather than 1990), using a more up to date version of the database you referred to... http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/to Notice the upward trend?

Let's go back even further, to 1900... http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1900/to The upward trend in temperature is clear, the question then becomes why it is happening. What is your theory on this?

What is your theory on this?

I don't have one, but what is your theory on this?


Now, here's the whole 12-hour graph, rather than just a three minute excerpt from the very end:


Whatever your theory was, does it still hold up?

What data is plotted on these graphs? Phase difference of what?

In this case, a cesium-beam frequency standard (aka atomic clock.) The specific data source isn't as important as the noise processes that it exhibits -- in this case a combination of white and random-walk frequency noise. The latter noise type alters the phase slope over multiple timeframes at once, even though the slope is accurately known over the long term.

The usual metaphor is a drunk person looking for his lost car keys. He meanders around under the streetlight because that's the only place where he can see where he's going. He won't stray very far from the lamp post, but his direction at any given time has little or no correlation to either his past or future behavior.

It's easy to fool yourself into thinking you understand what's going on based on recent historical behavior, but in reality, the presence of random-walk noise means that it's impossible to infer anything about long-term trends or short-term biases by looking at short-term trends. In climate science, even a hundred thousand years' worth of data is still a "short term" record. We need better data, we need better models, and most important, we need to give ourselves time to evaluate them on the basis of their predictive power.

Based on my own experience watching random-walk processes in real time, someone who expects me to take action based on the last 100 years of data from a multi-billion year timeframe is just going to get laughed at. I've spent so much time fooling myself (that's my software, and my cesium standard) that I probably am erring on the side of too much skepticism.

Why stop there? http://www.foresight.org/nanodot/?p=3553

For the record, my theory is that "average global surface temperature" has a nonlinear response to various known and unknown forcings.

You shouldn't be too surprised. Odd politics are rampant in computer science. Stallman, Chomsky, etc.

Just to clarify, you think that there is no "climat change" a.k.a. "global warming"?

There is a wide gulf between "thinking that there is no climate change" and agreeing with the politicization of the issue at every opportunity by authors, actors, and journalists who often are not particularly well-informed on the subject.

Your comment's actually a pretty good illustration of the effect the grandparent is (probably) talking about.

CamperBob2 gets it. You're playing with a straw man and a neologism.

What movies have this?

The first episode of The Walking Dead comes to mind. I'd also volunteer Waterworld and The Day After Tomorrow, but those are a bit too obvious and not worth the money.

Conscience offsetting.

Ugh. Very insightful.

It wouldn't surprise me if some startup starts trading conscience futures!

Considering that the movement of money is all that ever changes anything in today's world, I don't think that's a bad idea. I'd listen to their pitch, put it that way.

Prior art: Church selling indulgences in the middle ages.

Undoubtedly their rationalization is in the form of USD.

It sounds like you need to take a moment to consciously reflect on the fact that not everyone cares about privacy to the same extent you do. I don't just mean the privacy of others, but their own privacy as well. To many people, the loss of privacy that comes from being searchable is more than offset by the value they get out of Facebook.

I think it's more that most of the users are ignorant of the privacy implications.

Really simple. They need to pay their bills.

I'm sure your frinds rather be working for some project that would make the world better (hey Linux, I'm at you!:) But, still, they have to pay bills.

That's life. Don't like it? Change it.

Anybody working at Facebook can get multiple job offers in the bay area within a week.

I've never bought the excuse about "needing to pay the bills". If you are wiling to compromise your convictions for money, how strong are those convictions in the first place.

It reminds me of a friend of mine whose wife works for the TSA at the airport. Honestly, I have zero respect for her, but hey, at least she can pay her mortgage right?

While Facebook isn't on the same level as working for the TSA, it is definitely a company that appears to be run by people of questionable moral character, and I would absolutely not want to be associated with them.

People can have different opinions about the ethical implications of their job. Even if you think organization X is doing some wrong things, do you try to change it from without, or from within? I think that's each person's individual decision to make. Rather than second-guess their choice, why not focus on what their company or organization is doing wrong or could do better?

It heavily depends on management's alignment.

1st ¶: surely you've never been in the situation where you didn't have a parent to pay your rent or daily needed meals. Prove than and then you'll have the right to question how others make their money,

2nd ¶: your friend loves her, and she helps him to lift the weight. Who are you to question that?

3rd ¶: thank god your parents are such great persons.

I currently deliver pizza for a living. There have been times in my past when I ate a dollar menu burger from McDonald's once every couple of days. I am well aware of what poverty is.

That's irrelevant though. Is morality relative to your current financial situation? Is it ok to do wrong in order to make money?

There are plenty of jobs available. People just want to be picky about what jobs they take. If a person justifies a salary because other jobs are "beneath them" or they don't provide the standard of living they desire, that person has compromised themselves.

I have done many things in my past of which I am not proud, but I try every day to keep that list from getting longer. The only way the world will improve is if we all become more conscious of our actions and their consequences. Any other course is selfishness.

A can of refried beans is cheaper, healthier, and tastier than a dollar burger.

Hey all,

Mike Krieger (Instagram co-founder) here. Just wanted to offer some clarification since there's some speculation about the reason & scope for the verification mentioned in the article.

When we receive evidence of a violation of our site policies, we respond. This isn't a recent change, but the way we've run our community from the beginning. In some specific cases, for verification purposes, we request that people upload a government issued ID in response. This is the case for a very small percentage of accounts, and doesn't affect most Instagram users. The ID is used only for account verification, and not retained permanently.

Hope that helps clarify things a bit.

> In some specific cases, for verification purposes, we request that people upload a government issued ID in response.

Verification of what?

>The ID is used only for account verification, and not retained permanently.

Do you ask to cover the license number/address as well, the way Facebook.com does? If yes, doesn't it make it trivially easy to send a fake picture of a license your way?

One more reason to gladly pay Flickr. Sayonara Instamine.

> and not retained permanently

Mike, how can you be a "software engineer" and make a statement like that?

It DOES clarify things. Maybe not the way you'd like though.

> Hope that helps clarify things a bit.

Yes, it helps. Now I'm even more convinced how corrupt your company is.

I hate to play the paranoia card, but this reads like a push from the government for Facebook to start cataloging people. If it wasn't happening already, this is probably the missing piece in court evidence to show that a person is who they really are. This is really, really dangerous (especially when the majority of their users probably aren't bright enough to understand the implications).

You mean, they needed something other than your birth date, birth place, real name, current residence, work history, current job, name of your parents, cousins, grandparents, not to mention the rest of your graph, to correlate you to a database somewhere?

Yep. Technically I could lie about all of that, but a gov issued ID is 100% factual and has my photo. Also, this suggests requiring a birth certificate in some situations which is even more extreme.

The only thing FB has from me that is real or accurate is my birthday. All the other things you listed are either totally false or out of date. (Then again, I don't "friend" my family… IRL or online.)

Until now-ish (or the near future), FB had no way of verifying that, or forcing me to!

How do you connect? If you aren't actively and intelligently taking precautions, they may well have enough network address history to be fairly definitive.

Also, do you block their widgets on other sites/pages?

Not that I disagree with the "Big Brother" concerns that this "Ihre Papiere, bitte." activity raises.

P.S. Aside from government(s), of what value is a proven identity to commercial interests? Being able to prove that you/they are targeting exactly who they want.

Hmm... Amongst other things, I understand that process servers are already attemtping to use FB as a accepted means of delivery. And I've read that debt collectors are using accounts having profile pictures of bikini clad young women, in order to successfully "friend" those they wish to hound.

All sorts of value to "proven" identities...

The government has that information. This is an attack by Facebook on the idea that you control your identity, or that you can have identity outside the confines of a private company over which you have no power.

Well, Facebook is a catalog of people. Most of them use real identities. 15% of the world's population willingly share their lives online with full tracking available. It's a dream come true to any secret agency.

Push for real identities is beneficial to both - government and social networks. First get more control over their citizens, second more ad revenue.

Since they tell you to cover up your license number, it's hard to see how it would be particularly helpful for cataloging.

I'm thinking of a visual catalog. Where if I commit a crime and Facebook can be used as evidence, if one of my photos is my license, it guarantees that it's me. Maybe catalog isn't the right word, but some means for quickly matching a profile to an individual.

It doesn't. Ebay asked me for a scan of my passport a while ago. I changed all of the details, including my name, and they accepted it.

Interesting. Do you mind me asking why they required a passport? Seems a bit off.

They asked because I hadn't logged in for two years. I only use Ebay when I have no alternative.

I don't think this is new. I abandoned FB about 2 years ago, and maybe a year ago I re-established my account just to setup a developer key using OAuth2 for an app I was building. I also got locked out of my FB account at that time, and it prompted me to scan my driver's license and upload it -- at which point I promptly said F U and scratched Facebook OAuth support off my list of features.

I had the same experience. I signed-up, then turned up all of the privacy settings just so I could use it to test oauth, then FB disabled my account. I guess it's suspect when you turn off all of the account features.

I tried to explain what I was using the account for to their account reps, but they wouldn't unlock it unless I sent them the ID scans. I can't believe that there is not a bigger uproar about a non-governmental, for-profit asking for government issued ID, in electronic format no less, that relies on the unwitting user to hide pertinent data prior to scanning it.

Fucking ridiculous if you ask me. Instagram should be equally ashamed of themselves.

What concerns me is that I doubt the average user will understand the potential ramifications of entrusting a copy of their ID to a third party. If these documents are not well-protected or the user does not bother to or is not capable of covering up information that can be used for the purposes of identity theft, this could be catastrophic for some users.

Users will not cover up their documents properly.

With business customers, even if we ask for ID to confirm larger contracts, they'll send everything. Full IDs, credit card scans, etc. Technical customers regularly just email root passwords to financially-valuable systems when they have the slightest problem.

Also, try this: run an ad on Craigslist offering $500 a day for whatever. Ask for personal info and photos. You'll be deluged with people ready to hand every detail over without second thought.

"Clearly show your name, picture, birthday" "Cover up any personal information we don't need to verify your identity (ex: address, license number)"

Most Facebook users have already given their name, birthday and profile photo. For most users they wouldn't be giving anything else than those pieces of information on a ID card.

Now, that doesn't get into the secondary requests as the article states, but it certainly isn't "entrusting a copy of their ID to a third party."

information that can be used for the purposes of identity theft

Agree. Scanning a drivers license over the internet seems ...

Why add any of your data to FB? Why not just use it like an idiot box where you never create content but only consume it? I rarely, if ever, upload/update anything on FB, using it only to view updates/uploads from FB friends. No likes, comments, replies, tags. If I see anything worth replying or writing in response to what someone posts on FB, I prefer to use side-channels like email/texting or the phone. Has worked great for the last 5 years. Clearly, mine may be a single data point/unique case :-)

I like to imagine Mark Zuckerburg sits in his five star hotel strumming "career of evil" while he practices his smile in the mirror.

At some point you have to start attributing actions to malice.

I wonder just how much friction Facebook users are going to put up with until we start seeing news of record account deletions. I doubt any Facebook executive wanted to do this. This is a decision made by lawyers. This is Facebook getting to big for its own good.

People, get off Facebook. I'm in college and haven't touched it in 11 months. I'm doing just fine. Nobody needs it.

I wonder how this correlating data can be used in cases of copyright infringement where the alleged infringer is only identified by IP address. Could a correlation between IP address and real-world identification be made by subpoena of FB records?

Reference: http://torrentfreak.com/court-throws-out-109-of-110-alleged-...

A hundred bucks this is tied in with photo-tagging and facial recognition. The advantage of a government photo is that you're no longer allowed to smile and are expected to provide a neutral face, all the better for facial recognition. I wouldn't touch Facebook with a ten-foot pole right now.

Seriously? Fire up picasa or iphoto or Facebook and then tell me whether facial expression is any part of facial recognition all. Recognition works because it uses immovable bone structure.

Taking their words at face value, what does someone's identity have to do with whether they've violated terms of service? How would it fix any issue? (On Instagram; according to the article Facebook wants your true name as part of their TOS.)

It fixes the issue that you still aren't as valuable to advertisers as facebook and instagram would like you to be.

Follow the money. Always.

Ah, I can already smell the class action lawsuit for massive ID theft down the road.

If social networks are so adamant, I will just create my website have all relatives and friends contact me via the said website. Or may be by email before social networks actually caught up.

This is the way it should be done.

I will say that social networks like Facebook have introduced some interesting dynamics and engagement that could have not existed otherwise such as Caine's Arcade.

I think we're all waiting for the social network we all want and pay the $10-$12/year for privacy, transparency and complete ownership over our data.

The problem will be getting everyone onto that network. Although I now understand (and value) privacy and data ownership, there was a time when I'd refuse to pay for anything if there was a free alternative.

I'm currently working on distributed systems/networks which could form the basis of a 'social graph' but there are questions about how to make it profitable (hence self-sustaining). Getting people onto a network is only part of the problem.

Isn't that what App.net is supposed to be? Or are there problems with it I can't identify (being too poor to deem $5 a month on a social network a valid expense).

For me, $5 is a lot of lentils.

The main issue is that the cost barrier stops people from signing up just to try it out, in in that sense that app.net really ought to have a 'free' tier. Even if it was particularly restive, it would let their users get a feel for it before paying.

The only problem is the Facebook already has a billion users.

You should Tumblr that.

yep.. i was following the same way of thinking when i created pics.nicecomeback.com ... no more giving my photos to facebook.

Did anyone read the purported FB message? "drivers liscense"

I trust FB to spell correctly and use the right apostrophe. Very interesting set of responses here though.

The OP says Facebok asserts that I is requiring his documentation of certain users with a high number of subscribers...but it seems possible that they'll turn this on any one who has been flagged for having a non real name, or when there are similar accounts (I.e. nearly all the same friends, except one is the person's "fake" account) on the same computer

If this is an official Facebook thing then the screen cap in the article where driver's license is spelled "Driver's liscense" doesn't do them a lot of favors. In particular one of the first hints that something is a phish is that the grammar or spelling is phonetic but incorrect.

Got to wonder how long it will be until a Facebook account is a form of valid ID in itself.

This notion has been floating around for a while now and it seems less and less unlikely. I for one am not willing to accept a company taking charge of my ID. Actually, the day facebook asks me for my ID will be the day I quit it. It's total abuse.

A database that spans 1/7th of the worlds population. Facial recognition, relationships and locations. It really is the dream as far as fully validating an identity goes.

> It really is the dream as far as fully validating an identity goes.

It really is a dream as far as intelligence agencies (FBI, CIA and their less public counterparts) go. It used to be ridiculously hard to find the info about how to reach a person, or which buttons to push. Now, almost everyone offers it freely about themselves, and the few who don't get ratted on by their friends.

Validating identity might be a by product. But it's not anything that's hard to do anyway.

It can't. That's the whole reason they're having this problem in the first place. They don't do anything in an official capacity to verify that you are who you say you are. They're relying here on Gov't agencies that require more proof with official documents before giving you another official document(ID card) to certify that you are who you say you are.

It can never be a valid ID, because they are never involved in the certification and registration process of your "official" existence.

I'm fairly sure that most people could get a fake government ID without any significant trouble. A Facebook account it hard, because you've got to make up a lot of history and back story.

Don't worry, they'll get there.

There are a number of startups working on products in this space, such as use of social media accounts as verification to screen for and prevent fraud.

On one hand, this is excessive. Really excessive.

On the other, at least it's still a reset option. That might sound silly at first, but I lost access to an old MS Live account that I had foolishly left on auto-login on my Xbox for years and eventually lost access to the old Hotmail account (yeah, I made this account a long time ago) it was tied to. No amount of offering to show that I was the credit card holder for the hundreds of dollars in games or anything would convince them it was my account.

For the people to whom their Instagram account is really important, this might be a nice option (even if it is rather invasive).

Why on earth would they do something like this? The people at FB aren't insane, there must be some sort of reasoning for their decision to ask for ID

Soon they'll ask for a blood sample, and perhaps your genome. It's laughable how privacy is not taken seriously anymore.

Well, it's not Facebook who's doing the asking, but Facebook's closer than you might think to having genetic information: https://www.facebook.com/23andMe

Anymore? When was it ever?

I never had a facebook account and they make it harder and harder for me to get one.

I wonder exactly what violations they're dealing with. My son's junior high is full of kids using Instagram. They see it as an underage Facebook. That could be it. Or is there some wave of people using an assumed name.

Wow, does instagram illegally solicit and publish personal data from preteens?

Just to be clear, when I said:

> They see it as an underage Facebook.

I meant the underage kids, not Facebook itself. I wouldn't say Instagram solicits kids, just that there are lot of them on there.

What next if you don't do this are they going to send round her flick and von smallhausen.

I am tempted to join instagram just so i can upload a picture of ian lavender - "Don't tel Him Pike"

FB & G+ are pushing so much to have data on their users actual identities, I wonder what they want to do with that database. Considering the move polarises some users.

You wonder? They tell you every day. They want to show you ads and grow their network.

Now that it is (ostensibly) appropriate for web sites to ask for photo IDs, that opens up new opportunities for phishing and identity theft.

Just when you think FB can't be any creepier.

Another site which I will nevcer be a member of.

HN, I will be disappointed if by this time tomorrow I don't see "Show HN: government id image generator (no numbers, so it can't be used as an fraudulent ID)"

For FB's, they have to excuse from making an open source client side pre-upload number-removing tool.

Terrible idea, you'll likely be a felon for distribution of fraudulent federal Identification.

Same for anyone who uses it.

If you're generating them with blacked-out DL number and address, that's not really a fake identification card, is it? Not to mention you'd be generating an image, not an actual ID. Creating real-looking ID cards is much more difficult than creating real-looking ID card scans.

The most difficult elements would probably be faking the font, and post-processing it to ensure the text looked real (pixel-perfect accuracy and color for text would be a dead giveaway of computer generation).

> If you're [...] that's not really a fake identification card

I'm not a lawyer, nor a law enforcement officer, nor a prosecutor, nor a judge.

While agree that something to allow you to use a website shouldn't be a serious criminal offence it's easy to imagine that it could be painted as such: unauthorised access to website services after a clear warning; fake id instruments; etc etc etc.

This. Plus, if the service your using wants your ID, theres no point trying to trick it. Supporting them is like drinking poison then stomach pumping a few ounces of it and leaving the rest.

Are you saying that an image that is similar to a federal ID but with the numbers removed could be mistaken for a legitimate ID?

LOL! This is surreal.

People easily forget that Facebook was funded by the CIA and remains their biggest success in intelligence gathering.

[citation needed]

I think this is a reference to a story on The Onion:


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