Why you should want the IRS to use facial recognition technology

Below are extracts of my opinion piece in the Washington Post today on face recognition and controversy surrounding IRS.

Congress went into complete chaos when the plan was revealed. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) complained According to the report, “many facial recognition systems are biased in ways which negatively impact vulnerable populations, such as people of colour and women. Fiveteen Republican senators objected that the face recognition system threatened to make taxpayers You will have to pay the cost of giving away your most private information and biometric data.
Don’t be intimidated by privacy and bias accusations The IRS Announcement that it will “transition away” from face recognition. Both accusations are false and you and me will have to pay a huge price for our panicky retreat.

Wyden is calling for an IRS switch to “verification of human beings”. This is a lose-lose situation. At this point, the technology is much better than humans: Even human “super-recognizers” can’t beat the algorithms. They are able to achieve accuracy levels of around 95%, which is far better than today’s computers. Ordinary mortals with an error rate close to 81 percent aren’t much behind them. Their biases will likely be greater than that of humans, who are known for not being able to recognize people other than their own ethnicity.

Consequently, taxpayers will pay more for worse services. You’ve likely skipped the line to get a customs agent if you have flown back from abroad in recent years. Straight to the kiosk where face recognition is used to match you with your partner, officer Add it to your passport. You’re not allowed to return to the previous system, I bet.

The bipartisan criticisms of Congress are demanding that the IRS protect identity theft. You won’t be required to fill out a form quickly and automatically. Instead, you can wait until a human being calls to confirm your information. The same IRS understaffed human will work for that person. has not even gotten around to opening and logging all the returns it received in the mail nearly two years ago.

However, this is exactly what all of us will get if the bipartisan group criticized by congressional leaders wins. It’s not likely that we will be on the hold for all of these two years.

However, it will definitely feel like that.