The IRS Is Reportedly Looking For ID.me Alternatives Due To Privacy Concerns

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are reportedly looking for alternatives to the controversial facial recognition software ID.me, according to a report by Bloomberg. if Bloomberg notes that the agencies did not state a reason for the potential change, nor did they mention privacy concerns about the service.

“The IRS is constantly looking for ways to make the filing process more secure,” Treasury Department spokesperson Alexandra LaManna said in a statement to Bloomberg. “We believe in the importance of protecting taxpayers’ privacy, while also ensuring that criminals cannot access taxpayers’ accounts.” LaManna also shared: Bloomberg users are not required to file their taxes online, and the department is unlikely to set up in-house software due to a “lack of funding for IRS modernization.” The IRS and ID.me did not immediately respond The edge‘s request for comment.

Last year, the IRS announced its plans to require people who file their taxes online to register with ID.me, a third-party facial recognition company. The service requires users to submit a video selfie using a webcam or mobile device to verify their identity. The IRS is due to roll out the program this summer.

While ID.me previously claimed it only uses one-to-one facial recognition, which compares a user’s face to images of the same face, ID.me CEO Blake Hall admitted it uses technology that compares faces against a larger database. . This only exacerbates the privacy issues — politiciansthe American Civil Liberties Unionand digital rights advocates have already spoken out about the use of the software by the IRS.

The US government currently uses ID.me to verify people’s identities for Social Security, state benefits, and veterans’ affairs. In 2021, a number of people using ID.me to verify their benefits reported being denied benefits or having applications suspended due to potential software issues.

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