The IRS move away from facial recognition

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The IRS have decided to move away from facial recognition as an account security measure. The IRS were originally using third-party facial recognition as a way for taxpayers to access their accounts. A rise in concerns over the privacy and security of collecting taxpayers’ biometric data means they will slowly phase it out.

The IRS takes taxpayer privacy and security seriously, and we understand the concerns that have been raised. Everyone should feel comfortable with how their personal information is secured, and we are quickly pursuing short-term options that do not involve facial recognition.

– Chuck Rettig, Commissioner, IRS

The IRS have stated they are planning to instead work quickly to develop alternative authentication steps that do not involve biometrics. The transition announced today does not interfere with the taxpayer’s ability to file their return or pay taxes owed. During this period, the IRS will continue to accept tax filings, and it has no other impact on the current tax season. People should continue to file their taxes as they normally would.

Using biometrics as an identification measure is nothing new, in fact, Amazon seems to be keenly testing out the use of biometric scanning as a payment option. That being said, the idea of biometrics being stored is making people understandably uneasy, as it is giving criminals another way to access confidential information. As it remains a fairly new concept in the online environment, there is room for improvement for trust-building and security and more will need to be done before people will feel truly confident with companies asking for biometric data.

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