US Treasury To Consider ID.me Alternatives Following Privacy Concern

After some senators voiced privacy concerns, the US Treasury announced on Friday that it is exploring alternatives to commercial supplier ID.me’s facial-recognition technology for verifying identities for online taxpayer accounts.

The Internal Revenue Service said in November that it will use ID.me technology to verify identification for online services such as tax records and Child Tax Credit information this year.

Treasury Department reconsiders IRS’s use of ID.me

The procedure, which entails submitting a “selfie” photo to create an ID.me account, has gotten a lot of attention this week as the IRS began its annual tax return filing season.

According to Yahoo Finance, Senator Ron Wyden, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, expressed his disappointment with the notion of taxpayers submitting to face recognition on Twitter.

On Friday, a US Treasury official stated that the Treasury and IRS are investigating alternatives to ID.me. According to a statement released on Monday, the company’s technology meets the National Institute of Standards and Technology criteria by providing three methods for verifying identification.

ID.me CEO speaks out about IRS facial recognition

According to a LinkedIn post by CEO Blake Hall noticed by reporters at CyberScoop on Wednesday, the firm does utilize a technology known as one-to-many face matching, which compares a target face to a database of other known faces to find probable similarities.

This contradicts the business’s earlier public assertions, including a press release published only days ago in which Blake Hall stated the company only used a less powerful kind of facial recognition known as one-to-one face matching.

The company’s new backtracking on the nature of its technology is unlikely to assuage opponents who have expressed worries about the IRS’s intended use of its services.

Individuals wanting to sign up for unemployment benefits allegedly had their applications put on hold after ID.me failed to identify them correctly in 2021, with some claiming that people of different races were more likely to be mistaken.

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