Face Recognition Is Out. So How Will the IRS Verify Identity?

February 11, 2022


EARLY IN 2020, a US Treasury Department watchdog warned the IRS that the agency needed to do more to protect against identity fraud. In recent data breaches, the report said, “much of the information the IRS uses to provide assurance of the taxpayers’ identities may have been stolen.”

The pandemic soon underscored the danger. When the IRS launched a web page for taxpayers to enter bank details for stimulus checks, it verified users by asking for data such as a person’s birth date and Social Security number. Some people logged on only to find fraudsters had got there first.

In response to such problems, the IRS adopted a new technology to verify people online: face recognition