August 8, 2022

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The Treasury Department is moving away from the controversial verification software amid concern over...

The Treasury Department is moving away from the controversial verification software amid concern over the company’s use of facial recognition technology.
The IRS had announced last year that it would start requiring people who file taxes online to register with, which would verify the identity of filers with a video selfie.
The program was supposed to be rolled out this summer for all IRS services, including making online payments and accessing tax credits.
Critics have been sounding the alarm over’s use, warning that giving a private company access to that much biometric information is inherently risky and pointing out that many facial recognition systems have deep racial and gender biases.
The latter concern has been amplified since CEO Blake Hall admitted the company uses technology that matches faces against a larger database rather than just other images of the same face.
Several lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have spoken out about the issue, including Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenWyden still undecided on FDA pick, presses for plans on accelerated drug approvals Overnight Energy & Environment — Biden’s Fed pick draws GOP heat on climate Democrats hit limits with Luján’s absence MORE (D-Ore.), who revealed the Treasury Department’s plans to drop
“The Treasury Department has made the smart decision to direct the IRS to transition away from using the controversial verification service, as I requested earlier today,” Wyden said in a statement Monday. “I understand the transition process may take time, but I appreciate that the administration recognizes that privacy and security are not mutually exclusive and no one should be forced to submit to facial recognition to access critical government services.”
Democratic Reps. Ted LieuTed W. LieuNew revelations raise pressure on Barr to testify on Jan. 6 The Hill’s Morning Report – Dems jolted by senator’s stroke, majority status Bass raises nearly million since launching LA mayor campaign MORE (Calif.), Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalHouse Democrats warn delay will sink agenda Russia crisis exacerbates US political divisions Progressive groups push Senate for action on spending, climate package MORE (Wash.), Yvette ClarkeYvette Diane ClarkeOvernight Energy & Environment — New York Democrats go after ‘peaker’ plants Three House Democrats ask watchdog to probe ‘peaker’ power plant pollution Officials point to Apache vulnerability in urging passage of cyber incident reporting bill MORE (N.Y.) and Anna EshooAnna Georges EshooCan Joe Rogan save free speech? Biden pressured to cover COVID-19 tests through Medicare Hillicon Valley — Biden’s misinformation warning MORE (Calif.) sent a letter earlier Monday to the IRS demanding that the agency commit to not using any facial recognition tech for verification.
Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee sent a letter to the IRS last week expressing concern about the partnership and demanding more information. 
The Hill has reached out to for comment on the IRS’s decision. 

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