Image for Instagram Requests Government Issued ID, Freezes Accounts Until Verified

Instagram Requests Government Issued ID, Freezes Accounts Until Verified

Written by Mike Hohnen on January 28, 2013

It appears Instagram will be following in the footsteps of parent company Facebook. According to many users all over the world, Instagram is contacting users and requesting they submit photos of official government identification. What makes this worse is that no reason has been given for the requests, and both FB and Instagram accounts are in the process of being frozen until the requests are met.

On top of that, it appears Instagram is actually following up if they deem the photo unacceptable, as per the below screenshot. Clearly they are using the information for something, but just what remains unclear. An official from Facebook has commented to tech site TPM that the requests are in response to suspected violations on both Instagram and Facebook.

“Unfortunately, I can’t share more with you beyond that as we don’t go into details beyond that.” the source added.

It took some time before people realised that this wasn’t actually a hacking attempt or some sort of spam, but the requests are 100% legit despite the fact that Facebook and Instagram refuse to elaborate on why they are needed.

On 19th January, the Instagram T&Cs were slightly amended, giving the organisation more power to terminate users accounts for specific violations. The amended clause states, “We reserve the right to modify or terminate the Service or your access to the Service for any reason, without notice, at any time, and without liability to you,” followed by the line, “We reserve the right to refuse access to the Service to anyone for any reason at any time.”

There is nothing in the T&Cs that mentions government-issued IDs.

They could potentially be gearing up to make a shift towards real names for account handles, much like Facebook, despite an overwhelming proportion of users subscribing with nicknames, shortened names – pretty much whatever they wanted, as users were never obligated to set up their account in any other way.

Keep an eye out for some of the below warnings, and prepare for a bit of a fuck-around to access your accounts again.


Screen shot 2013-01-28 at 11.38.06 AM

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