On Monday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced in a statement that it would no longer be moving forward with previous plans to implement a controversial facial recognition software on its website in order for users to access certain tax records.
According to CNN, the IRS’s reversal came after widespread backlash by elected officials, privacy groups, and others who pointed out that such technology would constitute a massive overreach and violation of individual privacy. The IRS said in its statement that it would “transition away from using a third-party verification service involving facial recognition,” and would instead add an “additional authentication process.” The agency also vowed to “protect taxpayer data and ensure broad access to online tools.”
“The IRS takes taxpayer privacy and security seriously,” IRS commissioner Chuck Rettig said, “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.”
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will soon require taxpayers to submit a scan of their face in order to access certain features and tax records.
The change, first reported on by Krebs on Security, will force users to sign into the IRS website through an account with third-party firm ID.me, and provide a government identification document with their photo alongside a selfie to verify their identity, according to the IRS website.
Minneapolis City Council member Steve Fletcher wrote an amendment to the city’s code of ordinances that would ban facial recognition technology in the police department and all city departments.
The basis for the ban is that facial recognition technology “has been shown to be less accurate in identifying people of color and women,” according to the amendment.
While on a tour of the Detroit Police Department’s Public Safety headquarters, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) told police chief James Craig that he should only hire black employees for the role of facial recognition analysts, as the New York Post reports.
Former soldier and inventor Adam Jackson developed a new facial recognition software called Edge AI that can instantly cross-check a camera’s video feed containing a person’s face with criminal databases, but an obscure government agency called the Tennessee Alarm Systems Contractors Board declared that because Jackson does not hold an…