Huizenga Introduces FACE Act to Ban IRS from Using Facial Recognition Technology on Taxpayers
On Friday, Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-MI), introduced the Facial Authorization Cannot be Enforced Act or FACE Act. This legislation prevents the IRS from using facial recognition software and storing the faces of American taxpayers in a database.
“The IRS’ desire to use facial recognition software should be concerning to every American,” said Congressman Bill Huizenga. “The federal government or a vendor it employs should not be requiring Americans to submit to facial recognition in order to access basic IRS services.”
“It is well documented that the IRS has been prone to cyber-attacks,” continued Huizenga. “This database would be a treasure trove of information that could be weaponized by cyber criminals, adversaries such as China or Russia, and based on the past targeting of conservative Americans, even the IRS itself. The use of facial recognition technology by the IRS dramatically expands the federal government’s role in data collection and puts the privacy of American taxpayers at far too great a risk.”
The Washington Post recently detailed how the IRS plans to require taxpayers to use facial recognition software to access tools and services provided by the IRS through an $86 million contract with a company known as ID.me. By outsourcing this process to ID.me federal safeguards under the Privacy Act do not apply. This means there are no concrete federal requirements governing how the information and biometric data collected can be used or shared.
According to a Fox Business report, “Users must provide ID.me with an email address, Social Security number, photo ID and take a selfie with a camera that will scan the user's face to verify their identity. A Treasury spokesperson declined to comment Thursday to FOX Business when asked for details on the ID.me contract.”