The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) this week abandoned its plans to require citizens to utilize facial recognition technology to file taxes, access refunds and log in to government accounts.
The agency’s plan would have forced taxpayers to submit a facial identification scan by way of video recording to a third-party company.
According to the New York Times, the IRS on Monday stated its intentions to “transition away” from its plans after receiving criticism over the U.S. Department of Treasury awarding a private company with an $86 million contract to perform facial recognition services.
U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), along with his fellow Republican colleagues, on Tuesday introduced the “Ban IRS Biometrics Act” to forbid the agency from collecting data pertaining to physical human characteristics. Additionally, the legislation would force the IRS to dispose of all related information it has obtained to this point.
According to Tuberville, the IRS holding the ability to collect and obtain biometrics information poses a direct threat to personal privacy and security given the agency’s history of data breaches.
“Given the IRS’s long history of data breaches and weaponization of taxpayer data, American taxpayers already have little trust in the agency,” asserted Tuberville. “So, asking Americans to provide even more sensitive data is not only an invasion of privacy, but it’s also a security concern. This is another example of a big brother government proposal that would jeopardize Americans’ sensitive personal information.”
Tuberville joined U.S. Sens. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), John Kennedy (R-La.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) in introducing the legislation.