The Internal Revenue Service joins the list of agencies that use facial recognition software for verifying the identities of its citizens, who want to avail themselves of the federal services online.
Soon, people will be asked to verify themselves with a photo ID and a video selfie to access online self-help tools from the IRS website. This verification process will be processed by ID.me, which has been serving more than a dozen federal agencies now.
Facial Recognition on IRS Website
Facial Recognition is undoubtedly having a lot of advantages, but it’s under heavy scrutiny lately due to misuse by wrong hands. Official representatives of governments around the world were seen leveraging this technology for various exploitive means.
Also Read- Face Recognition Search Engines
Yet, government agencies push to use them with a cover of saying for ‘legitimate purposes. In this suite, the Internal Revenue Service of the US has joined with ID.me for using its facial recognition technology, to verify users before letting them access self-help tools.
Soon, citizens not having the username and password will be asked to upload a picture of their photo ID (driver’s license or passport), take a video selfie with the smartphone or computer, and let the software match both. This isn’t necessary for those having a username and a password created already, but soon, they too will need to follow this method.
This verification is processed by ID.me, a facial recognition company that’s picking up pace lately among government agencies. It was seen as a reliable partner by nearly half of US unemployment agencies, who are using it since last year’s pandemic for verifying unemployed citizens, before granting them federal aid.
Also, ID.me is used by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration, and the US Patent and Trademark Office. The platform is adding 145,000 new users every day, with the total number being around 70 million to date.
After all, IRS said going through facial verification isn’t necessary. Citizens can ask for tax statements and receipts to be delivered offline directly to their homes too. But, for those who want to access such tools online, IRS asks them to go through this new verification system.