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I.R.S. to End Use of Facial Recognition for Identity Verification


“The I.R.S. takes taxpayer privacy and security seriously, and we understand the concerns that have been raised,” said I.R.S. commissioner Charles P. Rettig.

Credit: Tom Williams

The Internal Revenue Service plans to stop using facial recognition software to identify taxpayers seeking access to their accounts on the agency's website amid concerns over privacy and data security.

The I.R.S. was already coping with a daunting tax season, faced with backlogs of old tax returns, staffing shortages and the additional complexity of paying stimulus and child tax credits. Now the agency must also change how it verifies the identity of taxpayers.

The I.R.S. said on Monday that it would "transition away" from using a third-party service for facial recognition to help authenticate people creating online accounts. The transition will occur over the coming weeks to prevent additional disruptions to the tax filing season, which ends April 18.

From The New York Times
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