You can now delete your selfies from ID.me’s website

Taxpayers can now delete any selfies they submitted to ID.me, the company tasked by the IRS to verify identities. Following uproar from privacy advocates, civil liberties groups and Congress, the federal agency last month axed a new requirement that taxpayers who want to access certain online services must comply with ID.me's facial recognition tool. Users were asked to verify their identity by uploading a selfie and government-issued ID onto ID.me’s portal, which uses automated facial recognition to vet the images. Beginning today, any ID.me account holders who wish to delete their presence on the site can do so by simply visiting account.id.me. Don’t worry if you don’t get around to it. ID.me will automatically delete all facial recognition data from taxpayers on March 11th.Not all taxpayers were required to use ID.me (only users seeking to look up past tax returns or child tax credit refunds online, and this is only if you don't have a current online IRS account). Unfortunately, if you fall into those two groups, you’ll still need to jump through some extra hoops on ID.me's website. Users will need to schedule a video interview with an IRS agent, as well as submit a photo ID such as a driver’s license, passport or state ID. While a video call may be less of a privacy invasion than facial recognition, you may be in for a long wait. While some users connect to a video agent in a matter of minutes, some have reported wait times of a few hours or more. Automated facial recognition is still an option for those who can’t stand the wait time. The company announced that starting on March 11th, it will begin automatically deleting photos submitted by users within 24 hours. Luckily for those who already have an IRS online account, they can skip ID.me altogether. The IRS has promised to roll out a new authentication tool by next tax season that won’t require ID.me, but hasn’t detailed what it is. Tax-related identity theft surged during the pandemic, with many thieves filing fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits. The agency advises taxpayers to file early, and to be on the lookout for any letters from the IRS about potential identity fraud. Taxpayers can also file for an Identity Protection Pin (IP Pin), a special six-digit number issued by the IRS that provides another layer of security in case your social security number is compromised.

Taxpayers can now delete any selfies they submitted to ID.me, the company tasked by the IRS to verify identities. Following uproar from privacy advocates, civil liberties groups and Congress, the federal agency last month axed a new requirement that taxpayers who want to access certain online services must comply with ID.me's facial recognition tool. Users were asked to verify their identity by uploading a selfie and government-issued ID onto ID.me’s portal, which uses automated facial recognition to vet the images. Beginning today, any ID.me account holders who wish to delete their presence on the site can do so by simply visiting account.id.me. Don’t worry if you don’t get around to it. ID.me will automatically delete all facial recognition data from taxpayers on March 11th.

Not all taxpayers were required to use ID.me (only users seeking to look up past tax returns or child tax credit refunds online, and this is only if you don't have a current online IRS account). Unfortunately, if you fall into those two groups, you’ll still need to jump through some extra hoops on ID.me's website. Users will need to schedule a video interview with an IRS agent, as well as submit a photo ID such as a driver’s license, passport or state ID. While a video call may be less of a privacy invasion than facial recognition, you may be in for a long wait. While some users connect to a video agent in a matter of minutes, some have reported wait times of a few hours or more. Automated facial recognition is still an option for those who can’t stand the wait time. The company announced that starting on March 11th, it will begin automatically deleting photos submitted by users within 24 hours. 

Luckily for those who already have an IRS online account, they can skip ID.me altogether. The IRS has promised to roll out a new authentication tool by next tax season that won’t require ID.me, but hasn’t detailed what it is. Tax-related identity theft surged during the pandemic, with many thieves filing fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits. The agency advises taxpayers to file early, and to be on the lookout for any letters from the IRS about potential identity fraud. Taxpayers can also file for an Identity Protection Pin (IP Pin), a special six-digit number issued by the IRS that provides another layer of security in case your social security number is compromised.