The IRS is reportedly reconsidering its previously-announced plan to require taxpayers to share facial images and other personal data with an unregulated private company, ID.me, in order to file tax returns online or access information about their filings, payments, and returns through the IRS website.
The hesitation by the IRS comes after ID.me was caught lying about whether it uses “one to many” facial recognition to try to identify facial images against large databases of selfies or other mug shots. ID.me had falsely claimed that it only uses “1 to 1” matching to “verify” that a selfie matches previously stored images of a specific person. But the company has now admitted that’s incorrect. ID.me actually compares selfies submitted by taxpayers (or by hackers or identity thieves, who could easily copy a facial image from a targeted victim’s or their friend’s social media posts) to its own “internal” database of images of tens of millions of people aggregated from unknown sources.