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The IRS Will Soon Let You Use Facial Recognition to Access Your Taxes Online

The Internal Revenue Service requires people who access and pay their taxes online to register with a third-party facial recognition company (h/t) starting this summer. Krebs on security). Even those who have already registered on IRS.gov with a username and password, provide government ID, a copy of a utility bill, and a selfie to ID.me, the Virginia-based identity verification company. You’ll be taking a video selfie with whatever webcam or mobile device you use to log in, which will likely cause problems for those with older hardware or who don’t have access to it.

According to the tax authorities, ID.me is a “trusted technology provider” of identity verification services. Anyone who already has an ID.me account from another government agency can log in using those credentials. Brian Krebs created a new ID.me account and wrote in his post that the signup process was time consuming and glitchy. He got stuck half way through the process and had to start over from scratch, after which he was asked to join a video call with an ID.me representative – with a wait of nearly three and a half hours.

in his “privacy statement of rightsID.me says it does not “sell, direct, or trade biometrics to third parties and does not derive any profit from the sale, lease, or trade of biometrics.” It may share information with its partners with the express consent of the users, according to his website, and when you register for an ID.me account, you must accept the company’s biometric consent policy. The company collects facial and voice biometrics to verify identity and protect against fraudulent behavior and to “meet a request from law enforcement or government agencies where it is not prohibited by law”. And even if you delete your ID.me account, the company may retain your biometric data for several years, depending on “the nature of the data and relevant legal or operational retention needs.”

You may remember ID.me from earlier in the pandemic; more than two dozen states use the company to verify people applying for unemployment benefits. Motherboard reported in June 2021 that ID.me was unable to identify some applicants and they had difficulty reaching anyone at the company to resolve their issue. ID.me CEO Blake Hall said: The edge at the time it uses a system similar to Apple’s FaceID or the way a TSA agent would match a passenger’s face to their ID at an airport.

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