Facebook just purchased a startup that allows its customers to quickly verify that someone’s identification documentation is authentic.
It’s unclear at this time what Facebook plans to do with the technology, but it’s not unreasonable to assume that Facebook may use Confirm.io tech in the future to verify the identity of users and make account recovery a relatively simple process.
Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch the acquisition, although it’s not known how much Facebook paid. Facebook had little to say about the purchase:
We are excited to welcome the Confirm team to Facebook. Their technology and expertise will support our ongoing efforts to keep our community safe.
Following the purchase, Confirm.io will shut down, and all its employees will move to Facebook. The company has confirmed on its website that it agreed to be acquired by Facebook.
When we launched Confirm, our mission was to become the market’s trusted identity origination platform for which other multifactor verification services can build upon. Now, we’re ready to take the next step on our journey with Facebook. However, in the meantime, this means all of our current digital ID authentication software offerings will be wound down.
Confirm.io offers to existing customers an API that lets companies verify the authenticity of government-issued IDs. The company can combine data pulled from an ID card with biometrics data pulled from a mobile device and facial recognition to verify the identity of a person.
In the near future, Facebook could use the technology to help users confirm their identities after being locked out of their accounts. Used with a phone’s fingerprint and/or face recognition systems, Facebook profiles may become a valid form of identification. Down the road, Facebook’s Confirm.io tech may be used to prevent people from registering fake accounts that may be used to spread fake news and misinformation. All of this is just speculation, for the time being.