The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced on Monday afternoon that it will no longer be using ID.me facial recognition software, adding in a statement that it will “transition away from using a third-party service for facial recognition to help authenticate people creating new online accounts.”
The agency said the transition will take place over the coming weeks “in order to prevent larger disruptions to taxpayers during filing season.” The IRS plans to create “an additional authentication process” that does not involve any form of facial recognition and will work with other agencies on the effort.
“The IRS takes taxpayer privacy and security seriously, and we understand the concerns that have been raised,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “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.”
The statement comes after an avalanche of criticism directed toward the IRS from privacy activists as well as Democrats and Republicans in Congress.
This morning, two separate groups of Democrats sent letters demanding an end to the IRS use of ID.me’s facial recognition and one congressman introduced legislation that would ban the IRS from using facial recognition at all on Friday. The IRS