But other Federal agencies including Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration are still using ID.me. We demand an immediate end to these contracts and a full investigation into the Federal government’s use of facial recognition.
After activists sounded the alarm and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed outrage and concern, the Treasury department has confirmed that the IRS is dropping its plan to use ID.me’s controversial and invasive facial recognition software.
Digital rights group Fight for the Future led the charge against the agency’s use of facial recognition, and along with the Algorithmic Justice League, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, and other groups launched DumpID.me.
“The IRS’ plan to use facial recognition on people who are just trying to access their tax information online was a profound threat to everyone’s security and civil liberties. We’re glad to see that grassroots activism and backlash from lawmakers and experts has forced the agency to back down,” said Caitlin Seeley George (she/her), campaign director at Fight for the Future. “But several other Federal agencies are still using ID.me’s discriminatory and insecure software, including the Veterans Affairs Administration and Social Security Administration, as well as 30 states that use it on people trying to access unemployment benefits. No one should be coerced into handing over their sensitive biometric information to the government in order to access essential services. The lawmakers who led the charge against the IRS use of this technology should immediately call for an end to other agencies’ contracts, and there should be a full investigation into the Federal government’s use of facial recognition and how it came to spend taxpayer dollars contracting with a company as shady as ID.me.”