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Lying about your Name or Age on the Internet May Get Difficult

Date: 2011-11-01 23:05:59

tru.ly logo A new service promises to accurately verify your name and age. While this may not seem important for adults, for minors, this could be a huge advancement, although the site's terms requires persons to be 18 or older for verification. Update 1-Nov-2011 Tru.ly co-founder, David Gordon told us that a new API version will be implemented for parental verification to setup minor accounts.

The site is currently in "beta", which means it's allowing public testing, but not quite ready for production.

Tru.ly uses "verification partners" to authenticate your identity. This is done by matching your submitted information with that in a national database of government and public data. In order to become verified, specific pieces of information must match. They report to use proprietary technology to flag users who may be trying to conduct fraud.

At this time the site asks for

Email
Legal First Name
Legal Last Name
Last Four SSN digits
Birthdate
Permanent street addresss
Permanent zip code

According to their website, Tru.ly's goal is to provide users with a single, verified identity on the internet. The service enables verified users to generate their own QR code qr code image enabling users to provide an ID without divulging details. How this will be accomplished is not stated. Tru.ly also promises a browser plugin to see what profiles are verified on social networks. The plug in also has very limited details. Update 1-Nov-2011 We asked co-founder David Gordon about this, and he told us: "We didn't see much traction on it so we took it down and will plan on relaunching it with a larger audience."

Should you trust tru.ly with your identity? We're not sure yet. We see no warning flags. No single piece of required information is highly sensitive alone, yet combined, they compromise more than many may wish to entrust to an internet company. 1-Nov-2011 Update We asked co-founder David Gordon about this and he said: "We use a high level SSL certification. user personal identifiable data is never stored on tru.ly servers. Third party accreditation is in process."

To our knowledge tru.ly is the first company to offer such a service. A March 2011 estimate by ComScore surmised that 3.6 million of Facebook’s 153 million monthly visitors in the United States are under 12. Facebook's terms of service require a minimum age of 14. A large component of tru.ly's offering is an API (Application Programming Interface), businesses can use to verify someone's identity. If Facebook, twitter, gambling, and adult content sites begin using the service, the internet may become a much safer place for kids.

One complication with kids is raised when reviewing the tru.ly terms of service. According to those terms, you must be at least 18 to be verified. This leaves a four year gap between the Facebook policy and the tru.ly policy.

Category: Authentication

Subcategory: Authentication

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