After receiving a lot of backlash about facial recognition, the IRS has announced that it will allow taxpayers to opt out and will be shifting to an entirely new identity verification next year. In the mean time, the agency is trying to alleviate the backlash over their use of biometric data.
The IRS will be transitioning away from using a third part service (currently ID.me) to help authenticate people creating online account. The IRS adopted the technology as a way to enhance the security of taxpayer information and avoid data leaks. Activists and lawmakers have expressed concern over the use of “selfies” to verify accounts, calling it an invasion of privacy.
Individual photos that have already been captured will be deleted from ID.me’s servers over the next few weeks. Any new selfies taken will not be stored on the servers. The IRS has made no comment on the future of the contract with ID.me and the IRS.
This month, ID.me said it would roll out new options allowing government agencies to verify their identities without facial recognition and that it would let people delete their photos after March 1st.