The Internal Revenue Service has canceled plans to partner with an external company that would have used facial identification to verify new accounts. This announcement was made Monday by the agency.
Privacy advocates rejoice at the timing of tax season in the U.S., and the decision should not impact taxpayers' efforts to file returns or pay taxes, the IRS stated in a statement.
The IRS planned to use facial recognition technology created by ID.me to reduce fraudulent accounts. But privacy advocates warned that facial recognition technology is often "Everyone should feel secure with their personal information, and we are rapidly pursuing short-term solutions that don't involve facial recognition.
Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who had requested publicly Monday morning that the IRS cut all ties to ID.me, called it a "smart move."
He stated in a statement that he appreciated that the administration recognized that security and privacy are not mutually exclusive.
It is not clear how the IRS will facilitate taxpayer authentication without ID.me.
The agency stated that the IRS would quickly create and make available an additional authentication process that doesn't require facial recognition during the transition. "The IRS will continue to collaborate with cross-government partners to create authentication methods that protect taxpayer information and allow broad access to online tools."