Facebook may demand you take a clear selfie to past a Captcha test if it suspects there’s suspicious activity on your account.
A screenshot of a request to upload a photo of a Facebook user’s face is currently doing the rounds on Twitter.
a friend sent me this: Facebook is now locking users out of account features, then demanding that those users “verify” their account to get back in by scanning an image of their face. AN IMAGE OF THEIR FACE. pic.twitter.com/T4TIsJFxX8
— can Amy Goodman pls stop inviting Assange on thx (@flexlibris) November 28, 2017
Apparently, if an image is not uploaded or isn’t clear enough, Facebook will lock you out of your account once it makes such a decision within a 72 hour window.
Facebook noted in a statement to Wired that the photo test feature is intended to “help us catch suspicious activity at various points of interaction on the site, including creating an account, sending Friend requests, setting up ads payments, and creating or editing ads”.
But the social network giant wasn’t forthcoming with many more details. So there’s no information on how it will use uploaded photos to verify an account; this secrecy is down to Facebook not wanting to give away details which cyber criminals and hackers could exploit.
Many people share selfies on Facebook and Instagram, which Facebook owns, on a daily basis with some of those pictures left within the public view.
But when it comes to actively uploading a profile photo to comply with Facebook’s demands, a whole can of worms is opened up over user privacy and freedoms.
“Since it wouldn’t serve any practical purpose, and I don’t trust Facebook with my picture at all, I’m not going to post one, but still, I would like my account back as losing it means losing a variety of other accounts on different websites.” noted a Reddit user commenting on the topic.
There’s no exact timeline as to when the feature was introduced, but Reddit users have been posting that they’ve seen the prompt crop up as early as April. Facebook has kept tight-lipped on when it introduced the feature.
So it would seem if you encounter the Captcha photo prompt, then you’ll have to weigh up parting with personal selfie against being included in a some two billion strong social network.
Is Facebook’s photo request creepy or just good security? Have your say on Twitter or Facebook.