LONDON - JULY 10: In this photo illustration a girl browses the social networking site Facebook on July 10, 2007 in London, England. Facebook has been rapidly catching up on MySpace as the premier social networking website and as of July 2007 was the secondmost visited such site on the World Wide Web. Started by 22 year old Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg, the website is responsible for 1% of all internet traffic and is the sixth most visited site in the USA. (Photo Illustration by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
If you've forgotten your ID at the airport, your Facebook profile may be enough proof to get you on a plane.
Apparently, Zach Klein, one of the founders and chief executive of Vimeo, tweeted about
leaving his ID at home and the TSA agents allowing him to use his Facebook profile to prove his identity before he could board.
It turns out that using social networks, or "publicly available databases," as proof of identity
has been going on for a while, but that each TSA agent may have their own idea of what is acceptable and what is not. However, it seems in at least in this one instance a Facebook profile was enough for TSA agents to use to verify identity, according to Mashable.
While social networks are not official forms of ID, the TSA's policy states that forgetting one's ID doesn't mean that passengers will not be allowed to fly. If agents can substantiate a person's identity claim through public databases, they may be allowed to fly, just like Klein did.
“We don't utilize social media websites to confirm a passenger's identity,” Ross Feinstein, TSA spokesman, told Mashable
. “We use publicly available databases.”
The difference between the phrases "publicly available databases" and "social media websites" is miniscule, but apparently the TSA isn't willing to say it's specifically using Facebook or Twitter as secondary ID. Still, when a social media profile shows up with a real name and a picture of your face, it may be hard for even the most steely-eyed TSA agents to deny anyone a trip to visit their family at Christmas.