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X Blue subscribers will be required to send selfie, ID to Israeli software company for verification

Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images

Elon Musk's X, previously known as Twitter, will now require X Blue users to provide a selfie and government-issued ID for verification purposes.

The verification process will be carried out by Israeli company AU10TIX software, which will also store the information for up to 30 days. Engadget reported that the new verification model comes after a series of impersonations that "temporarily derailed the company's paid verification plans."

However, X users have expressed their discontent with the new move by the social media platform. Some have pointed out that they feel uncomfortable allowing the company to store their data — a company whose employees apparently have ties to Israeli intelligence. But others have noted that their information may not be safe, given the number of security breaches that have taken place in the recent past.

One X user posted: "Naturally AU10TIX — the Israeli tech firm @elonmusk wants to deploy for users to hand information over for verification purposes — have engineers who worked / work in Unit 8200, the intelligence unit of the Israeli Occupation Forces."

Al Jazeera noted that AU10TIX played a major role in creating identity verification systems for airports and border controls throughout the 1980s and 1990s. It later expanded, following the advent of the internet, into what it called "digital spaces" in 2002. It now serves large tech companies, such as Google, PayPal, and Uber.

Musk introduced monthly subscription fees for verified Twitter users in November 2022. Verification was soon extended to any account that provided a phone number and an active subscription to a Twitter Blue plan. On April 1, the company revealed that it would remove the legacy verification program, which some believed would make way for impersonation.

The company responded by creating gold and gray checkmarks, which are used by verified organizations and government-affiliated accounts. The latest X verification process is said to bolster the security on the platform. It is also only going to affect X Blue subscribers, though some have expressed skepticism about this.

Last week, Musk received backlash after announcing that the "block" feature on the platform would soon be a relic of the past. When users expressed their discontent, Musk appears to have ironically blocked some of them, including Catturd and actor James Woods.

Musk soon received a Community Note on the post in question, which stated: "If the ability to block users was to be removed, X would be in violation of the policies of the App Store as well as the Google Play Store. Potentially, this could lead to X being removed from these platforms. There are no such policies for the web-app however."

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