I am who I say I am: Identification services for reclaiming lost social media accounts
Regaining access to social media accounts which have fallen victim to hackers can be extremely difficult. Negotiating through automated help centres and bot responses can be frustrating and time-consuming. Both Facebook and Instagram have stringent security policies, and will often not cede control of an account back to the original owner unless they can provide (among other things) a notarised form of identification and/or a statutory declaration.
Having a Facebook Page, Instagram account or other social media outlet hacked can be extremely troublesome, especially if the account is connected to your business. If the page, site or account has been hacked, and is unrecoverable through normal means, many sites still allow account owners to retrieve the account if they provide notarised proof of identity and an accompanying statutory declaration outlining the circumstances.
Given Facebook is based in the US, and most other social media companies are also based internationally, a statutory declaration signed in the presence of a local figure such as a Justice of the Peace or an Australian lawyer or police officer will not be accepted.
Instead, statutory declarations for use outside Australia must be witnessed by a Notary Public. The main reason for this is because a notary public is authorised to draw and certify documents for use in overseas jurisdictions.
There are much more stringent requirements placed upon Notary Publics compared to JPs, and exercising the duties of a Notary Public requires extensive legal experience, skill and knowledge.
Further, it is not enough to simply provide verification of identity that will be accepted internationally. Depending on company policy, a statutory declaration that will be sent to a social media company will typically need to include, at minimum, the following:
- A copy of a valid government-issued photographic ID;
- A notarized and signed statement from a person who has gained sufficient knowledge and authority over the matter, which includes:
- A description of your relationship to the page or group, and an explanation of your request;
- Names or details of the current person or people who manage the group, and your relationship to them, as applicable;
- A declaration from legal counsel on transfer of page ownership rights;
- Notarised copies of any supporting documentation;
- A legally binding declaration under oath that the information you have provided is true and accurate.
Bambrick Legal offers notarial services and we can also assist you to draw and declare an accompanying statement that covers all the necessary grounds and which is legally binding.