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IRS Denies Information Collection in Using ID .Me in FOIA Request Authentication

Privacy concerns

IRS Denies Information Collection in Using ID .Me in FOIA Request Authentication

The Internal Revenue Service has argued that it does not collect data when individuals use identity credential service ID.me when filing a Freedom of Information Act request.

Answering privacy concerns raised by Alex Howard of the Digital Democracy Project at the Demand Progress Education Fund, an IRS spokesperson said that the sole function of ID .me is to serve as a “digital passport” that simplifies the process of proving the requestor’s identity. The spokesperson added that other vital information sought during the FOIA request, such as a Social Security number, are not tied to the request itself nor retained by the agency.

Howard raised his concerns due to the language used on the IRS website that encourages the use of the authentication platform to accelerate any FOIA request, FedScoop reported.

The Department of the Treasury and the Social Security Administration are also dependent on the platform. However, both agencies are more detailed in their instructions that ID.me is not the only option when seeking a FOIA request.

Privacy concerns are not the only issue affecting the FOIA request process. In September, several federal agencies confirmed that they had yet to fully achieve interoperability with FOIA .gov. Many of the organizations claimed technical and logistical issues were the reasons behind the sluggish implementation.

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Category: Federal Civilian