IRS Facial Recognition: Do Americans Need To Send Selfies?

To handle new online account registration, the IRS has partnered with ID.me, a third-party service that has a detailed signup procedure that involves submitting a “video selfie” using ID.me’s facial recognition software.

IRS to require facial recognition to access the website

Though previous IRS accounts will continue to operate, everyone will need to complete ID.me verification to use IRS online services, such as viewing and making payments online, altering a postal address, and using the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, beginning this summer. 

All internet accounts will shift to ID.me in “summer 2022,” according to a November 2021 statement.

ID.me’s detractors are concerned about a private firm gathering biometric data on millions of Americans, as well as racial and gender biases in the company’s proprietary facial recognition algorithm. 

In light of the worries over facial recognition, Bloomberg reported on Friday that the IRS is “reconsidering” its connection with ID.me.

Can you still log in to your old account?

People with an online IRS account can continue to log in using their existing credentials until a yet-to-be-determined date this summer. The IRS requires you to create an account with ID.me, a third-party service.

Importantly, this account will be connected to your IRS profile. To put it another way, the concept is that you’ll go to the IRS website, enter your ID.me credentials, and then log in, as usual, to see your account and make payments.

After that, all you have to do is set up multi-factor authentication, as per BGR. However, the selfie matching procedure did not work for some people. 

They also had to go through an additional stage – a live video conversation — to establish that they were who they claimed to be. Brian Krebs, a cybersecurity writer, was one of those folks, and he documents the process here.

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