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House Lawmakers Kick Off Inquiry Into Facial Recognition Service Provider

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House lawmakers asked identity verification company ID.me through a letter to provide a detailed list of its contracts with federal, state and local government agencies and information about its facial recognition software as part of an investigation into the security and accuracy of the company’s platform, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

In February, the Internal Revenue Service announced its decision to transition away from using facial recognition software in response to concerns from taxpayers regarding their privacy and security. 

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said she she hopes the investigation will result in “more transparency and accountability” when it comes to the use of facial recognition by the government.

Maloney co-wrote the letter with House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., chairman of the House select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis, which was addressed to ID.me CEO Blake Hall.

“We look forward to providing important information to the Committee on how ID.me has expanded access to government for disadvantaged Americans, including individuals who do not have credit history, are underbanked, or are without a home,” said Patrick Dorton, a spokesman for ID.me.

Lawmakers also requested the company to provide information on its procedures and policies on biometric data retention and on the use of Duplicate Face Detection systems for federal, local and state government contracts.

Documents and other information should be submitted by April 28.