The social network and technology tycoon, Facebook, has acquired a government ID authentication startup Confirm.io, amidst greater efforts to verify the identities of the accounts on its social network to protect users and political elections worldwide after the American election row.
The startup offered an application programming interface (API) that let other companies verify somebody’s government-issued identification card to check its authenticity. Details of the acquisition were not disclosed by either of the companies.
"We are excited to welcome the Confirm team to Facebook. Their technology and expertise will support our ongoing efforts to keep our community safe," a spokesperson for Facebook told the media.
Confirm.io is a Boston-based startup and will shut down as both its team and technology will be shifted into Facebook, where it will work to help users who are locked out of their accounts. It has offered an API that can confirm a person's identity for any transaction that requires proof of identity using a smartphone camera.
Facebook could potentially use the technology to have people confirm their identities if they’re locked out of their accounts after being hacked or losing their password. And since 2013, Facebook has let people mail in a copy of their photo ID or other identity verification materials in order to regain access to their account. The new feature on the popular social media site is aimed at bringing a check on the rising number of fake accounts.
This test feature of Facebook, which is not mandatory, also prompts new users to sign up for an account by giving their original name. The prompt comes up and asks for 'name as per Aadhaar' when a user tries to open an account. And one day, perhaps Facebook could even serve as your ID card in some situations!