Senators Urge FTC to Investigate ID.me’s Facial Recognition Claims
May 19, 2022
In a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Senators Ron Wyden, Ed Markey, Alex Padilla, and Cory Booker urged Chair Lina Khan to “investigate evidence of deceptive statements made by ID.me — a provider of identity verification services widely used by federal and state government agencies — about its use of facial recognition.” The Senators argued that ID.me’s repeated false claims about the use of one-to-many facial recognition technology constitute a deceptive practice that misled consumers about the safety of their biometric information and convinced government officials to use ID.me instead of competing products.
One-to-many facial recognition software is used to identify a photo of an unknown person and requires a database of face prints to compare the unknown image to. One-to-one face verification does not require a database of face prints. Although both forms of facial recognition technology are problematic, the use of one-to-many presents greater risks to privacy and civil liberties. ID.me previously claimed to only use one-to-one face verification technology before it was revealed that they used one-to-many also.
Recently, an EPIC-led coalition of privacy and civil liberties groups urged federal and state agencies to end the use of ID.me and other face verification services. IRS dropped its plan to use ID.me after criticism from members of Congress, EPIC, and many others. The company came under fire for forcing individuals to submit to intrusive facial recognition identity verification, subjecting people to long wait times for verification, and misleading the public. Individuals can join organizations pushing back against the use of face verification by signing this petition to Dump ID.me.