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House panels examine the use of facial recognition software by the Government

BySheldon Wong

May 13, 2022
IRS facial recognition investigation

House panels examine the use of facial recognition software by the Government

An investigation had been launched by two house committees into the use of facial recognition software by the government. It was, at the latest, been used by the Internal Revenue Service, but later on, put a stop after receiving a shower of complaints from several privacy advocates and makers of law. 

The critics involved with the facial recognition software elucidate that the databases about facial recognition tend to be a target for the increasing rate of cyber threats. Apart from this, they also expressed their views and concerns about how the information can be easily used by various agencies of the government. 

In a letter on Thursday to the CEO of, Blake Hall, the lawmakers were witnessed requesting all the relevant information and documents relating to the contracts of the company with 30 state governments and 10 federal agencies for their technology for facial recognition. 

Relating to the same, Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y, the house oversight committee chair said in a statement that he was deeply moved and concerned about the federal government lacking a bullet-proof and crystal-clear plan, leaving several agencies such as the IRS to get into contracts with terms that were highly questionable and oversight mechanisms which were worth more or about ten million dollars.

With the absence of comprehensible rules of the road, many agencies would continue turning into companies such as that indirectly increase the overall involved risks, making essential not provided to Americans equitably. Apart from this, it might be denied out rightly, and the biometric data would lack proper safeguarding. 

The letter was further signed by Rep. James Clyburn and Maloney, D-S.C., who chaired the Select Subcommittee on the ongoing crisis because of rising cases of Coronavirus; Washington Post was the one who primarily reported about the same. 

In a statement mailed by the company, one of the representatives of the company claimed that is still seen as a very effective solution for various government agencies for providing the highest amount of access to Americans who were under-served. strictly adheres to all the provided federal guidelines to log on or for the verification of any particular identity while providing services to every agency empowered by the public sector. Such standards proved to be very effective in the prevention of fraudulent cases. As of now, four states have successfully credited with the prevention of fraud of around $210 billion as per the statement. 

The IRS in February said that it will suspend the use of technology for facial recognition for the authentication of people creating online accounts followed by the criticism of practice by several lawmakers and privacy advocates. 

Various lawmakers such as D-Ore and Senate Finance Committee Chain Ron Wyden were known to have called on the IRS to end the use of software. 

The agency is at present seen wrestling with a shortage of workers and an expansion of workload processing the administration of programs related to the pandemic and filing of taxes. 

The deadline for tax day is Monday.  

Sheldon Wong

Sheldon was a contributor on DMR. He has since left the team to pursue his career in the Insurance industry.