If you are already bewildered by the developments on Facebook, be prepared to be bewildered even more. Facebook is now saying that they are requesting selected (RE: popular) users to upload a government issued identification to help them verify that their account is in fact controlled by the real account owner. Seen in TPM, to assuage privacy fears, they have given assurance that they will "permanently delete" all the data once the verification process has completed. Their assurances however have not stop critics from commenting that Facebook isn't exactly on the proverbial ball when it comes to privacy.
This new verification is similar to one currently used by Twitter, with the key difference being at least Facebook is open and upfront about the verification process. The process used by Twitter is one steeped in mystery; something which probably enhanced the status of those considered to be verified by Twitter. The process is also part of a new setof changes that Facebook is implementing which is supposed to make it easier for users to keep up to date with the lives or updates posted by popular figures currently on Facebook. Therefore, the step to ask selected people to upload a government issued identification to prove that you are who you say you are. Whether or not the data will be safe, will be absolutely dependent on Facebook keeping to their assurances that they will delete all the data uploaded during the verification process.