Lied About Its Facial Recognition Tech

[…] New evidence shows that “inaccurately overstated its capacity to conduct identity verification services to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and made baseless claims about the amount of federal funds lost to pandemic fraud in an apparent attempt to increase demand for its identity verification services,” according to a new report from the two U.S. House of Representatives committees overseeing the government’s COVID-19 response.

The report also said that—which received $45 million in COVID relief funds from at least 25 state agencies—misrepresented the excessively long wait times it forced on people trying to claim emergency benefits like unemployment insurance and Child Tax Credit payments. Wait times for video chats were as long as 4 to 9 hours in some states.


The IRS and other government agencies said they would stop using earlier this year after widespread backlash from benefits recipients and politicians. Members of Congress later called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the company’s practices. In that letter, congress members noted inconsistencies the company had made in describing its facial recognition system, which used a massive facial recognition database to identify benefits recipients.

“Not only does this violate individuals’ privacy, but the inevitable false matches associated with one-to-many recognition can result in applicants being wrongly denied desperately-needed services for weeks or even months as they try to get their case reviewed,” the letter stated.

Source: Lied About Its Facial Recognition Tech, Congress Says

Robin Edgar

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