Musk to check Au10tix allegations by X anti-Israel influencers

Elon Musk credit: Shutterstock
Elon Musk credit: Shutterstock

The identity verification company denies claims by anti-Israel activists that it hands details of users on Elon Musk's X to the Israeli authorities.

Veteran Israeli identity verification company Au10tix is in the midst of a new social media storm, with anti-Israel influencers demanding that X (formerly Twitter) end its partnership with the company.

For some years, Au10tix has been providing X with identity verification services on its users and anti-Israel activists are currently pressing the social media company to stop working with the company. Among other things, activists on the network claim that its executives, founder Ron Atzmon and CEO Dan Yerushalmi, are veterans of the Shin Bet, Mossad and IDF 8200 intelligence unit, and that they allegedly hand over the details of X users to the Israeli security authorities.

These claims are factually false. Atzmon is an Israel Navy veteran, while Yerushalmi was an adjutant in the IDF Communications Corps and a former VP sales at Check Point. Moreover, user information is stored for huge customers such as X, Google, PayPal and Uber on Microsoft servers in the US, UK and Japan.

The social network storm that might have blown over after a few days took a surprising turn when X owner Elon Musk tweeted last night: "I will investigate this,", and reignited the controversy around the Israeli company.

As far as is known, Musk has not yet contacted the Israeli company. In a user survey conducted by anti-Israel influencer, veteran US Marine Lucas Gage on the X Network, 92% of 50,000 people voted in favor of removing the Israeli company's service. The intervention of Israeli blogger Ella Kenan brought in Israeli voters who slightly improved the result for Au10tix.

Au10tix began operating 20 years in verifying passports at airports before expanding into identity verification for online payment services.

Au10tix allows its customers, including Uber, Google, Payoneer and Fiverr, to verify the identity of their users by quickly checking their ID card or driver's license. All the user needs to do is scan the certificate with the phone and speak for a few seconds in front of the camera - and the verification process is complete in up to eight seconds.

Influencers from Russia, China, Iran and Qatar are concerned

X began using the Israeli company's services even before Musk acquired the social media network about two years ago. The protest against the Israeli company began after, in recent days, notifications were sent to online influencers who produce revenue that they are expected to pass identity verification checks by July 1, otherwise their ability to continue producing income from the platform will be blocked. Some sources believe that opposition to the activity of the Israeli company is the concern of influencers that are part of defamation campaigns against Israel, or those employed by Russia, China, Qatar and Iran that an Israeli company will verify their identity and possibly remove them from the system due to non-verification.

The main shareholders in Au10tix are ICTS, the data security company of Ron and Gil Atzmon, and the Oak and TPG funds, which together hold a 10% stake. In the past the company sought to list on Wall Street by selling 50% of its equity through a SPAC merger but the initiative was dropped.

Au10tix has been profitable since it was founded and as far as is known has not raised any money. The company has 200 employees in its Hod Hasharon offices.

Au10tix said, "Au10tix is committed to every international standard on protecting privacy and does not pass on details to any third party. This has always been the case in the past and will be so in the future."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 4, 2024.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2024.

Elon Musk credit: Shutterstock
Elon Musk credit: Shutterstock
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