/ / / / /

Is a Facebook Profile a TSA-Accepted Form of ID?

December 27, 2013 at 12:45 PM | by | Comments (0)

Think your Facebook page is all fun and games (and friend of friend's baby pictures?). Well, you're right to an extent, but recently Vimeo co-founder Zach Klein discovered that it also does double-duty as a form of acceptable identification for passing US airport security.

Klein forgot his drivers license, but was able to show TSA staff his Facebook page to establish his identity while passing through security on December 22. Our sister site, CN Traveler, picked up the story from there:

What's even more shocking to many travelers is that this isn't a new development. The TSA has a longtime policy that allows travelers to pass through security using "other means" of substantiating identity, including the use of any "publicly available database." As this particular case has demonstrated, this apparently includes social media websites like Facebook.

It's not all that surprising, considering the gradual increase in security measures by social media sites themselves, requiring users to utilize their government-issued photo IDs to confirm their identity. If you've been locked out of your account, for example, Facebook states you must send in photographs of either a birth certificate, driver's license, passport, marriage certificate, or social security card to verify your identity. Instagram users have also been required to confirm their identities by showing government-issued photo IDs.

Granted, this all sounds iffy in the manner of that 2012 story regarding the man who was able to cross the US/Canada border using only a scan of his passport on his iPad, but that was an international transit versus Klein's simple domestic flight.

Still, we wouldn't go leaving your IDs at home to rely on Facebook, since, as any frequent traveler is aware, TSA agents often like to interpret the rules for themselves or selectively forget guidelines. Best to be prepared!

[Photo: Jaunted on Facebook]

Comments (0)

Post a Comment

Join the conversation!

Not a member? .