I almost never use my Facebook account. So a few days ago when I decided to log in, I wasn’t surprised to see a bazillion notifications and some missed messages. I marked them all as read and then signed off. A few minutes later I logged into a remote server for one of my freelance projects as a writer. During that remote session, I decided to log back into Facebook because I wanted to double-check one of my notifications.
And that’s when Facebook decided to lock my account. I put in the right password. The lock decision was automatically made simply because I signed in from 2 different locations within a few minutes of each other.
While I can understand the system being a little cautious for multiple logins, I know several people who are signed into Facebook from different locations at the same time pretty regularly. They’re logged in at home. They’re logged in on their work computer. And they’re logged in on their phone. All at the same time.
Facebook Wants WHAT??
Back to my home computer where I was just logged into Facebook, I tried to log in again and was taken to a page asking me to confirm my identity. It looks something like this:
What really blew my mind was what happened when I clicked Continue:
Facebook literally wanted me to upload a photo ID. And it gets better – click Continue one more time and look at the photo IDs they accept:
You’re not reading that wrong folks. Who in their right mind would upload one of these IDs to Facebook’s servers?
Privacy Concerns Abound
Facebook’s reputation for protecting user data is abysmal so it’s pretty obvious that I’m not going to be sending my personal information to them just to unlock my account (which they locked even though I was legitimately logging into it).
And do they really need this information? They didn’t ask for this information when I signed up. All they asked for was an email address – an email address I still use and have access to. That should be all the confirmation they need.
Sure they do have another list of things you can send them to prove your identity, of which I sent 2 of those things (a piece of mail and a bank statement with critical info blacked out) – but neither of them were good enough (even though they’re on the list Facebook provides).
Bye Bye Facebook!
As a result of this whole debacle, I’ve decided that I’m not even going to put forth any additional effort to get my account unlocked. I’m lucky I don’t use Facebook much. In fact, it’s been almost a year since I last posted something. But I can’t imagine being in a position where your entire life for years has been recorded on Facebook and suddenly all of that is being held hostage unless you give them something that would allow anyone in the room to steal your identity.
The part that kicks me though is since Facebook doesn’t believe I am who I say I am, I can’t even have them delete my information. Can you imagine having your pictures and videos all online and you can’t even get them to remove it?
If you’ve ever wondered why Facebook is constantly in trouble, all you have to do is scroll up and look at those screenshots again and ask yourself… is it reasonable for a social network to ask for such identification? And, if the answer is no, then you might want to consider leaving Facebook as well.
Oh, so for all my Facebook stalkers, I probably wasn’t going to return your messages anyway – but now I have a legitimate excuse!