IRS to End Use of Facial Recognition Tech to Verify Online Accounts; Sen. Ron Wyden Quoted

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The Department of the Treasury has informed the office of Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., that the Internal Revenue Service is in the process of ending the use of facial recognition software for taxpayers to access their tax information online.

The Treasury’s move was in response to Wyden’s request for IRS to stop using the facial recognition service offered by company ID.me in verifying accounts of taxpayers and accessing tax records amid civil liberties and privacy concerns, the senator’s office said Monday.

In a Monday letter addressed to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, the senator asked the agency to transition to Login.gov, the government’s existing identity verification service that has been used by 40 million U.S. citizens to access 200 websites operated by 28 federal agencies.

“I understand the transition process may take time, but I appreciate that the administration recognizes that privacy and security are not mutually exclusive and no one should be forced to submit to facial recognition to access critical government services,” Wyden said in response to the Treasury’s action.

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