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What do you think of this situation?

I was looking at an artist's terms of service and they stated they now require customers to provide their ID cards for online commissions. To my surprise, I found five other sellers with similar policies after reading this person's page. Most of them stated they were concerned about getting commissioned by minors and being charge backed.

I feel very wary about scanning my passport or ID for an online seller, and I've read sellers can be liable if personal information they've collected from their clients accidentally gets leaked.

If you were a client, how would you feel if a seller asked you for your ID card?
And if you are a seller, what might you do to protect yourself from doing business with minors? What would be some safer and less intrusive options?

This topic came up several years ago (https://artists-beware.livejournal.com/861456.html) and might help with the discussion.

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( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 20th, 2018 02:42 am (UTC)
I personally wouldn't take my business to someone who wants my ID. To show it in person is one thing, but to have to scan it or otherwise trust another individual with it is another. Especially given that I've spent the extra money for a PO Box to keep my personal address private.
Jul. 20th, 2018 03:26 am (UTC)
The artists I see with this policy the most often are fursuit makers. They don't want to risk a several thousand dollar chargeback or the extended dispute process.

I'm trans. I don't want to give out my ID or ask for ID but there have been so many fraud cases lately that artists of big-ticket items don't have much choice.

The only real alternatives:
-notarized contract
-money order (would not recommend)
-cover the license number on the scan you send the artist
-commission someone else

Not being snarky with that last point. You should always read an artist's ToS before making a purchase. If any part of their policy (ID requirement) makes you uncomfortable or you don't think they can keep your information safe, you should work with someone else.

Edited at 2018-07-20 03:35 am (UTC)
Jul. 29th, 2018 06:45 pm (UTC)
Honestly, a notarized contract would probably be the best option for everyone. Sure it adds an extra step, but for a 1000$+ transaction, it would be good for both the client AND the creator. It can give a client leverage for a bad deal, and can allow a creator to fight charge-backs more easily. It would also make more creators put some more consideration into their contracts (for those that make it a living, getting help from a lawyer will probably save them years of headache in the long run)

IDs can be stolen, taken from the same wallet the credit card came from and someone can STILL make the claim they were charged unaware. You can't make the same claim that you 'didn't know' with a notarized contract.
Aug. 15th, 2018 03:03 pm (UTC)
I don't know too much about notaries, do both parties signing the contract have to be physically there?
Aug. 15th, 2018 04:57 pm (UTC)
All a notary really does is confirm and document that the person making the signature at that time, in front of them, is the person they say they are. So the client would print out the contract, take it to a notary, get it signed and notarized. After that, they would either need to fax or mail the document to the artist, for proof it's been signed and notarized. Emailing scans of the notarized document can be an option, provided the scans are clear and can be read should the matter ever be taken to court and the client 'lost' the original.

The notary themselves keep a log of who has signed and when, so if documents are destroyed, there'd be proof something was signed, but nothing else. You'd need the fax, clear scan, or original documents to be able to cross reference the exact wording that was signed and agreed to should the matter ever need to be seen by a judge.

Also falsifying or forging a notary seal is a felony, so if anyone went to any length to do that, they'd have bigger problems on their hands.
Jul. 20th, 2018 03:28 am (UTC)
From the artist side it's pretty useless. Just as you can't know that the account you are getting money from is owned by the person sending it you can't know if the ID is theirs either.

Any minor who can access a parent's credit card can get their ID just as easily.

From a buyer's perspective: Not going to accept that term. It's a red flag to take business elsewhere. I get where the artist is coming from but I'm not willing to indulge their paranoia given what I'm risking in handing that scan over.
Jul. 20th, 2018 03:37 am (UTC)
I've done this, took a photo with my phone and covered all of the serial number identifiers, barcode, exp. date, and signature. They just want to see an address. My ID is not easy to forge as they change it every 3 months with different security features. Even more difficult with that info heavily obfuscated.
Jul. 20th, 2018 04:18 am (UTC)
Not worth. ID theft is serious and very real.

Will cost you more in the wrong hands than for a commission.
Jul. 20th, 2018 12:54 pm (UTC)
Sellers actually need to have a detailed explanation of what personal details they are collecting from you, why they are collecting it, what they are going to do with it, and how they are going to dispose of it to stay on the right side of the GDPR. It's not a big deal if you're outside of the EU and doing business exclusively outside of the EU but still something to consider.

I don't really know how you can "prove" someone's age though. A lot of business dealings rely on trust and use contracts to enforce that but I'm pretty sure you can't legally enter into a contract with a minor so even that doesn't protect you.
Jul. 20th, 2018 11:45 pm (UTC)
Can you please tell me what things are like in the EU regarding ID and data protection? It sounds like you have some knowledge about that and I'm not familiar with how things work over in the EU.
Jul. 21st, 2018 12:44 am (UTC)
I only know a bit cause I write point-of-sale software and do a lot of the work on our loyalty systems, so a lot of handling customer data. If you remember a month or two back when every single anything ever was sending out those "we have updated our privacy policy" emails, that was because of the GDPR passing.

GDPR is the general data protection regulation and it applies to all of the EU. It covers all personally identifying info, so anything as small as a name up to big stuff like medical records. Also if you want to collect data from anyone under 16 you need parental consent. Basically anyone collecting data for business purposes needs to clearly explain what data they are collecting and why. Businesses are supposed to collect the minimum amount of data, only what they need. So like an email list would just need your email, so it'd be against the rules for them to ask and save your age and gender. In addition, there must be a way for that data to be disposed of. So if you want off the list, there has to be a way to permanently remove that data forever. Any business found violating the GDPR will get fined.
Since furry is small potatoes the only way anyone is gonna get hit w a GDPR fine is if they get reported, but it is always good to be on the right side of the law.

Also I mentioned this post to my spouse and he informed me that it is illegal to make a color copy of any US I'd, even just a digital one. I didn't know that until just now.
Jul. 21st, 2018 01:11 am (UTC)
Thank you for the info. I appreciate it. I learned a lot from your reply =)
Jul. 20th, 2018 04:19 pm (UTC)
Like Dergish said its mainly suit makers/plush makers, as I've seen many artists doing this as young children are taking their parent's credit cards and using them for art and other crafts.
The artist is just trying to make sure they're not getting scammed that way and have that added protection.

Most recent I can remember is BeastCub getting an order for a QuadSuit with all the works which is a several thousand dollar project only to find out after buying materials that it was a child who bought it and the parent filed a charge back.
Other fursuit makers are getting to having the same issue: minor used/someone stole a credit card charged for an order and in worst case scenario: The suit was MADE and already Sent out and then Parent/Owner of Card charges back and Maker is out of money.

If sending as scan just take it into Paint or similar block out all info except name and DOB. Cover addy/gender/license number and such.

Its unfortunate but its staring to come to where ID is going to need to be used for proof of ownership of order/payment.
Jul. 29th, 2018 09:17 am (UTC)
I have to wonder, while the minor can't be held to a contract, especially if a thousand+ dollar item is shipped out to an address where the parents also live, isn't that just fraud? Can't the adults at the address be held responsible for their kid's behavior? For all the know the adults instructed the kid to do it and then went "Oh we didn't know he was using our creditcard so we'll be taking our money back and keeping the item."
Jul. 29th, 2018 10:06 am (UTC)
Yes, while a minor can't be held to contract they (and their parents) are still on the hook if they pretend to be an adult in order to get into said contract.

And in many states the artist can't get in trouble if the minor pretends to be overage in order to get nsfw commissions. A simple "I agree that I am over the age of 18." would suffice, but I urge artists to check their local laws.
Jul. 20th, 2018 07:36 pm (UTC)
the only people who ever need to or get to see my ID are law enforcement, health care professionals, people selling liquor/cigarettes/etc, and someone trying to identify my body.

for me, it's a matter of protecting my identity and I'm sure as hell not going to entrust it to some online stranger who potentially doesn't engage in the online security required of anyone handling sensitive and identifying documents.

unless a seller can prove that they can provide even the minimum level of protection that is required for the handling and use of PII, they're not going to get jack shit from me and I strongly advise anyone to avoid people who want your PII but have absolutely no security or insurance involved to deal with leaked information.
Jul. 20th, 2018 08:38 pm (UTC)
I understand their reasoning since there are many underage people in the fandom that try to get NSFW art. Personally I wouldn't want to show some stranger on the Internet my ID, so if they couldn't tell that I am over 18 by my profile pic (which I am obviously) I would have to pass on them.
Jul. 20th, 2018 11:26 pm (UTC)
This is always such a conundrum. On the one hand I echo all the sentiments stated above: I would not give my ID info to some stranger on the internet and ID's are super fakeable anyways so it could still be completely useless.

On the other hand if you're dealing with minors you could potentially face serious issues when it comes to NSFW art.

I personally don't ask for ID but have all my NSFW accounts in pages where they have to agree to be over 18 (obviously extremely fakeable but it's something to protect yourself with)
Jul. 20th, 2018 11:39 pm (UTC)
Some of the people who I saw commenting that they require ID or want to do so in the future are safe for work artists and not taking expensive fur suit commissions. They don't have to worry about adult artwork or big ticket items. They just want to have reassurance I think, that they're not dealing with minors.
Cy Mendoza
Jul. 21st, 2018 06:24 am (UTC)
You don't need the customer's ID. Just write out a document similar to this:

I, the undersigned notary public, have viewed the this customer's ID and verified the following information:

The customer is __Name__, and their photo verifies their ID.
The customer is over the age of eighteen.
The customer's address is __Address__ on the ID, which will be where the product is sent.

(signature and stamp of notary)

Kids are sneaky but they are not sneaky enough to forge a notary's signature and stamp. You can contact the notary by phone afterward if you really need a confirmation the stamp and signature are real.
Jul. 21st, 2018 09:43 am (UTC)
If I were ordering a high value costume or a super expensive commission notary would be something I'd be okay with doing. Notary is safer than "scan your ID" and I think it's good to have signed contracts for very valuable commissions, anyway.
Jul. 27th, 2018 07:22 am (UTC)
Yeah, you can blame scamming minors for this. There's been a lot of minors commissioning fursuits with their parents' stolen credit card details, and the parents finding out and issueing chargebacks. In one case, the minor deliberately pulled the "I'm a minor, I can't be held to a contract" card to screw over a maker.

I don't really blame artists for trying to protect themselves against a several thousand dollar chargeback. Most don't want all your info, just your ID pic with age + a selfie to prove it's actually you. They don't need your whole address and ID barcode and shit.
Jul. 29th, 2018 09:14 am (UTC)
Chargebacks have been happening a lot lately. I don't blame artists for being more cautious. If I resume commissions in the future, I may include complimentary prints and require an address. Assuming it is a kid, the parents would also live there and I'd have more recourse to contact them directly about their child's behavior.

(That said, I'm outside the US, so if the kid commissioned me for porn, lying about their age, I'd be harder for US authorities to prosecute me for distributing porn to a minor when I tell the parents their kid is a lying little shit.)
Jul. 29th, 2018 10:09 am (UTC)
"If I resume commissions in the future, I may include complimentary prints and require an address."

Unfortunately, Paypal has told us this wouldn't work nor would it guarantee a win against a fraudulent chargeback. Neither would putting it on a CD.
Jul. 30th, 2018 06:19 am (UTC)
Oh I wouldn't play it via Paypal once I have their address. I'd probably try via the local authorities, especially if it was an adult commission.
Jul. 29th, 2018 10:22 am (UTC)
Whenever I see a digital artist mention sending prints, I feel disinclined to do business with them. I don't like to give out my address unless absolutely necessary, international shipping can be very expensive, and some countries have complicated customs rules. Russian Post, for example, can take two to three months to deliver a package, tracking numbers frequently don't get updated in the system, and the officials are very strict. Trying to send prints to someone through their customs would be a nightmare.

Edited at 2018-07-29 11:12 am (UTC)
Jul. 29th, 2018 11:21 am (UTC)
I took a look at your TOS, Thaily, after reading your post. I have some questions for you and I'm not trying to be rude here. I'm genuinely curious.

Your terms of service mentions that you can ask for legal identification for digital artwork. http://bridgeofmagpies.com/buy-art/terms-of-service/

Here in this post you mention you are considering prints+addresses. When you have the ID option already in place, why do you feel that prints+addresses is also needed?

I also don't see anything in your terms of service that mentions how you would ensure your clients' confidential information if they gave you their addresses or showed you their IDs. So, my second question to you is how would you safeguard their data?
Jul. 30th, 2018 06:23 am (UTC)
I'm not taking commissions at all ATM so it's currently a moot point, the mention of asking for ID is mostly a deterrent for minors. Fortunately I've not had cases where I had to ask for said ID.

Also,the TOS exists in part to filter out would-be customers who might be problematic, so if my TOS deters someone, it's doing its job. I don't need -every- potential client to stay in business, even if they're decent people, sometimes we may just not be a good fit.

I stopped taking work some time ago and still get people asking, I've just been referring them to other artists I know and trust.

P.S. I'm not a "digital" artist, I'm an artist who also does digital work, but I also use traditional media.

Edited at 2018-07-30 06:46 am (UTC)
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )


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