Scott, Colleagues Raise Serious Concerns with Intrusive IRS Identity Verification Measures
Senators ask IRS how new partnership will affect private taxpayer information and civil liberties
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) joined Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and every other Republican member of the committee in raising serious questions and concerns with the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) announcement of a major expansion of its collaboration with ID.me that will require taxpayers to have an ID.me account to access key IRS online resources. In order to register with ID.me, taxpayers will need to submit to ID.me a trove of personal information, including sensitive biometric data, starting in the summer of 2022.
In a letter to IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, the senators wrote, “The IRS has unilaterally decided to allow an outside contractor to stand as the gatekeeper between citizens and necessary government services. The decision millions of Americans are forced to make is to pay the toll of giving up their most personal information, biometric data, to an outside contractor or return to the era of a paper-driven bureaucracy where information moves slow, is inaccurate, and some would say is processed in ways incompatible with contemporary life.”
The senators identify a number of problematic issues and raise serious questions, including, but not limited to:
- The intrusive verification measures that may be required of taxpayers, such as submitting to ID.me biometric data like a video “selfie” — an identifier that cannot be changed if compromised, unlike a password;
- Cybersecurity standards, and how such sensitive data will be stored and protected;
- Oversight issues, since ID.me is not subject to the same oversight rules as a government agency; and
- Taxpayer advocacy issues, and what assurances and rights are allowed taxpayers within the collaboration, as it appears taxpayers would be subject to multiple terms of agreement filled with dense legal print.
To see the full list of questions and read the letter in its entirety, click here.
Joining Senator Scott and Ranking Member Crapo on the letter was every Republican member of the Senate Finance Committee: Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Thune (R-S.D.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), James Lankford (R-Okla.),Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).
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