Twitter wants to trade your personal info for blue tick in new process

If you've been lusting after a blue tick on Twitter, you'll be parting with your birthday at least, and potentially your passport or driver's licence.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor on

Twitter has announced that it is changing the process for so-called verified accounts, allowing users to apply for one its blue ticks denoting verification.

Previously, the company had allocated verification to accounts it deemed of "public interest", which also helped to determine fake accounts from official Twitter profiles.

"Our goal with this update is to help more people find great, high-quality accounts to follow, and for creators and influencers -- no matter where they are in the world -- to easily connect with a broader audience," the company said in its announcement.

In order to receive a tick, users must hand over to Twitter their mobile number, and on non-company accounts, a birthday. The company states that it uses birthday information for advertising and customisation purposes.

Twitter has warned that when processing the application, it will request additional information.

"We may request that you scan and upload a legible copy of your government-issued ID (such as a passport or driver's license) to confirm your identity," a support page states.

If a request to be verified is denied, users can reapply in 30 days.

ZDNet has asked Twitter how it intends to store the passport and licence scans it receives, but had not heard back by time of publication.

Twitter has faced a number of security scares this year. In February, approximately 10,000 users had personal data exposed via a flaw in the company's password recovery system. While the company said it immediately fixed the flaw on its discovery, it had the potential to expose user email addresses and phone numbers.

Last month, the company locked down millions of accounts following a purported list of 32 million Twitter passwords being sold off. Twitter trust and information security officer Michael Coates said the password list was not a result of a breach on Twitter itself, and that users should enable two-factor authentication.

In April, Twitter reported a net loss of $80 million on revenue of $595 million. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) came in at $180 million, up 73 percent year on year, with average monthly active users increasing 3 percent year on year to 310 million.

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