The IRS has abandoned its plan to implement facial recognition technology in order for it to identify taxpayers and match their images against a database. This decision comes amidst mounting criticism from privacy advocates, experts and lawmakers alike. The reason? Facial recognition software is notoriously inaccurate at identifying people of color due to the different shapes and sizes of their faces, which can lead to false accusations, as well as implications that they are engaging in fraud by matching them with other individuals who have not filed taxes or left any records available online.

The “facial recognition search” is a technology that was used by the IRS to identify taxpayers. The IRS has decided to abandon this plan and not use facial recognition on tax payers.

IRS Abandons Plan to Use Facial Recognition on Taxpayers

IRS-Abandons-Plan-to-Use-Facial-Recognition-on-TaxpayersIRS image

The IRS has chosen to scrap its proposal to integrate ID.me, a third-party face recognition technology, into its online login procedure for taxpayers who wish to access and manage their tax information. The IRS was convinced to cancel the concept after it garnered widespread condemnation from not just privacy groups but also members of Congress, according to IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig’s comments. The IRS is developing a second authentication method that will not rely on face recognition.

The IRS has announced that it would no longer employ face recognition for third-party verification (IRS.gov)

  • The IRS has declared that it would no longer use a third-party face recognition technology to assist users create new internet accounts. To avoid significant interruptions to taxpayers during filing season, the transfer will take place over the next several weeks.
  • “The IRS is concerned about taxpayer privacy and security, and we understand the concerns,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Everyone should feel safe about how their personal information is protected, and we’re working on short-term alternatives to face recognition right now.”
  • The move announced today would not affect a taxpayer’s ability to submit a return or pay any outstanding taxes. The IRS will continue to accept tax submissions during this time, and the current tax season will not be affected. People should continue to submit their taxes in the same way they always have.

After a barrage of protest, the IRS has decided to scrap its face recognition scheme (The Washington Post)

  • Login.gov, the government’s own sign-in site, said last week that it will not employ face recognition unless a “rigorous evaluation has given us confidence that we can do so fairly and without causing damage to vulnerable groups.”
  • Officials from the IRS and Treasury did not reply to concerns about how the move may impact the two-year, $86 million contract that Treasury signed with ID.me last summer, or what would happen to the personal and face data that Americans have already given to ID.me.
  • Last week, Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee wrote to the IRS, specifically asking what would happen to taxpayers’ sensitive information if the IRS stopped working with the corporation. According to a committee aide, the organization has yet to get a response.

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