The IRS wants to scan your face

Kristen Walters

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Man having his face scanned.HQuality Video from Getty Images (Canva Pro license.)

The IRS has started implementing new facial scan requirements that have triggered many privacy and personal freedom concerns from taxpayers and even some government agencies.

Currently, if you go to the IRS website, you'll be prompted to "verify your identity" before you can create or access your online account.

According to the information on the IRS site, the identity verification process involves providing a photo of an "identity document" like your state driver's license, passport, or Real ID. Next, you will need to take a picture of your face with either your computer's webcam or your smartphone and upload that photo to an identity tracking system called ID.me.

While the IRS claims that ID.me is a "trusted technology provider" that will "keep your personal information safe," the Treasury Department is already considering alternatives to the ID.me facial recognition software company due to privacy and security concerns.

Not only is identity verification required to access your personal tax records, but taxpayers are also required to submit verification photos to the facial recognition system to get information about their eligibility for certain tax relief programs.

For example, to find out if you are eligible for child tax credits funded by President Biden's relief program, you would be required to sign up for identity verification through the ID.me facial recognition and tracking provider.

When questioned about the decision to use a third-party facial recognition and tracking system, a representative from the IRS stated that the IRS couldn't create its own in-house identity verification system "due to lack of funding."

Therefore, the IRS is currently relying on an outside technology company to keep your personal information, data, and privacy safe.

What do you think about this new identity verification system?

Do you think you should be required to provide a facial scan to access your tax records or learn about your eligibility for specific tax incentives?

Please share your thoughts and opinions in the comments.

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