Dot’s Reading Room: A New Concern as You Start to Think About Filing Your Tax Return….

February 1, 2022

Government agencies—including the IRS—are using a facial recognition company to prove your identity.  James Hendler, Professor of Computer, Web and Cognitive Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has some thoughts on the matter.

As reported in today’s issue of The Conversation, Professor Hendler writes:

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is planning to require citizens to create accounts with a private facial recognition company in order to file taxes online. The IRS is joining a growing number of federal and state agencies that have contracted with to authenticate the identities of people accessing services.

“The IRS’s move is aimed at cutting down on identity theft, a crime that affects millions of Americans. The IRS, in particular, has reported a number of tax filings from people claiming to be others, and fraud in many of the programs that were administered as part of the American Relief Plan has been a major concern to the government.”

But not everyone is happy about this development. Some people have had trouble using the system, particularly with some state agencies that provide unemployment benefits. The reaction has prompted the IRS to revisit its decision.

We know from recent news articles that the IRS is short-staffed these days and may be far behind in processing payments and refunds this year. So perhaps Big Brother is still a year or two away…

Read the article here:

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