IRS reverses course on requiring facial recognition software
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News from the offices of Senator Tester and Senator Daines
U.S. SENATE — After strong pushback from U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines, the Internal Revenue Service today announced it would reverse its decision to require taxpayers to provide facial recognition data through a third party vendor to access some tax services. Instead, the IRS announced it would work toward providing an alternative form of verification.
“This was a bad idea from the beginning, and I’m being very generous when I say ‘bad idea,’” said Tester. “The IRS has absolutely no business requiring facial recognition software on anything, but especially not when it comes to allowing Montana taxpayers to access services. This is the kind of garbage that drives me crazy, and I will be holding the IRS’s feet to the fire to make sure they follow through on their commitment to drop the required use of facial recognition data.”
Daines issued the following statement:
“This was a terrible and invasive idea from the get-go that would’ve put taxpayers’ privacy and identities at risk. Montanans shouldn’t have to provide biometric data to access their own tax info. Glad the IRS listened to my concerns and backed down from this absurd plan.”
In a letter to the IRS, Senator Tester raised serious concerns about requiring taxpayers to provide facial recognition data through a third-party vendor to access government services:
“I’m deeply troubled by recent reports suggesting the IRS is considering using facial recognition to access online accounts though its private contractor ID.me,” Tester wrote. “While I recognize the importance of cybersecurity and identity verification, I strongly believe using facial recognition is an unnecessary privacy violation. That’s why I urge you to consider alternative methods to secure online accounts.”
“This was a terrible and invasive idea from the get-go that would’ve put taxpayers’ privacy and identities at risk. Montanans shouldn’t have to provide biometric data to access their own tax info. Glad the IRS listened to my concerns & backed down from this absurd plan,” Daines said.