IRS Partners With Facial Recognition Company

To confirm taxpayer identities for specific transactions, the Internal Revenue Service is partnering with a third party facial recognition company.

Original publication by Reason MagazineAn IRS photo must be uploaded via ID.me. These included private information such as social security numbers. Before the end of summer, the new policy was in place. 

ID.me can be used by companies to check identity or program eligibility. An example would be when a phone service company required a teacher identification card to add an education-related discount to the user’s account.

You will be required to provide a photograph of an ID.me document, such as driver’s licence, state ID, or passport, and to also “take selfies with your smartphone or computer with a Webcam” to verify your identity through ID.me.

While the IRS stated that this program is not required for taxpayers to file taxes electronically, it was necessary to verify other IRS programs. 

A spokesperson for the IRS stated, “The IRS emphasises that taxpayers can file or pay taxes without providing a selfie or other information in order to verify their identity with a third party.”

You will need to use ID.me to confirm your identity in order for you access tax records, set up payment plans, or obtain an identity security pin.

The IRS website added that “additional IRS applications will transition to the new method over the next year.”

There are reasons reported that ID.me’s privacy policy is cause for some concern. The policy also included:

When information we get about you is subject to a legal requirement or obligation, governmental inquiry, investigations of possible violations or other investigations or any other harm prevention measures, it can be accessed for extended periods.

Although the company said it “do[es] not sell the personal information” of users, the security risks posed by the program could be significant.

The company’s policy noted that “no data transmission over the Internet or any wireless network can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. We use commercially acceptable security measures to secure data, and we seek partners with service providers who do the same. However, we can’t guarantee security for any information sent to the website. Nor are we responsible for any actions taken by third parties. 

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