copy of their birth certificate before regaining control over their account. Many are confused about whether these requests are legitimate or if it is the work of a knowledgeable phisher. A spokesman for Facebook, which owns both sites, said, "Instagram occasionally removes accounts due to violation of terms and, depending on the violation, may ask people to upload IDs for verification purposes."
Instagram just updated its ToS on January 19th. While it can be understood why Facebook would verify a user's identity as it requires account holders to use their real names, there is no such requirement for Instagram which makes the demand for ID a bit puzzling for users of that site. The photo sharing social network might eventually join Facebook and request account holders to use their real names, but for now it is not a requirement for Instagram.
Neither site would comment further. Did any of our loyal readers receive a request for photo ID pertaining to their Facebook or Instagram account? Did it escalate into a request for a birth certificate? Let us know by dropping a comment in the box below.
We’re sorry, but we can’t verify your claim based on the ID you provided. Please reply to this email with a different government-issued photo ID. This ID must include your full name and date of birth. If any of this information is located on the back of the document, be sure to include an image of this as well.
If you don’t have a government-issued photo ID, we need you to send us two things:
-A copy of a photo ID (ex: work or school ID)
-A copy of an official document verifying your name and age (ex: birth certificate)
These documents must be from a respected institution (ex. business, university) and combined must show your full name, birthday and identification photo. We will permanently delete these documents after we resolve your issue.
Note that we will not be able to process your request unless you send in proper ID. Sorry for the inconvenience.
source: TPM via AllThingsD