Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Daily Archives: January 19, 2022

IRS Will Require Facial Recognition Scans to Access Your Taxes

Gizmodo: “Online tax filers will soon be required to submit a selfie to a third-party identity verification company using facial recognition tech in order to file their taxes or make IRS payments online. Starting this summer, users with an account will no longer be able to log in with a simple username and password. Instead, they will need to provide a government identification document, a selfie, and copies of their bills to Virginian-based identity verification firm to confirm their identity. That change, first noticed by Krebs on Security, marks a major shift for the IRS which previously allowed users to file their taxes without submitting personal biometric data. In a statement to Gizmodo, an IRS spokesperson said users can still receive basic information from the IRS website without logging in, but added they would need to sign in through to make and view payments, access tax records, view or create payment plans, manage communications preference, or view tax professional authorizations. So here’s how filing taxes will work for most people later this year. Users attempting to log in to their accounts using will have to create an account with the company by uploading either a driver’s license, passport, or passport card. Users are then told to use a cellphone camera or their computer’s webcam to take a selfie. According to’s website, the company uses a face match facial recognition system to verify the selfie matches the provided government document. If approved in’s system, users can then use these credentials to verify their identity across any of’s partners…”

In a white paper shared with Gizmodo by, the company was quick to draw a distinction between its face match system and lesser facial recognition verification systems. “Face match is equivalent to an airport agent comparing your face to the photo on your government ID card,” said. “Facial recognition is equivalent to giving your picture to the same agent, putting him on stage at a rock concert, and asking him to pick your face out of the crowd.”…

A Project to Count Climate Crisis Deaths Has Surprising Results

Wired – “CLIMATE CHANGE CAN kill people in all kinds of ways. There are the obvious ones—wildfires, storms, and floods—yet rising temperatures may also lead to the increased spread of deadly diseases, make food harder to come by, and increase the risk of conflict. Although we know about these wide-ranging but equally terrifying risks, attempts… Continue Reading

Study IDs Visual Characteristics That Make People ‘Like’ Images on Instagram

NC State: “Marketing researchers have identified the combination of characteristics that make people “like” images on the social media platform Instagram. For example, the visual complexity of images has a significant effect on whether viewers choose to engage with a social media post. “We are increasingly able to determine whether images included in social media… Continue Reading

What the Kids Are Reading

Paul Musgrave – Engaging with the new generation and its media consumption: “…The idea that today’s college students are digital natives who can seamlessly navigate the online world is, well, doubtful. But even more dubious is the unthinking presumption a lot of faculty and institutions fall into of assuming that they were familiar with the… Continue Reading

Legal Simplification and AI

Eliot, Lance, Legal Simplification and AI (November 3, 2021). Available at SSRN: or “Many advocates are urging that our existing laws are overly complex and need to be simplified. Interestingly, the advent of AI in the law can readily enter into this same discourse. It might be easier to intertwine AI and the… Continue Reading

Need help recycling? Search for a recycling solution

“WELCOME TO THE EARTH911 RECYCLING SEARCH! With over 350 materials and 100,000+ listings, we maintain one of North America’s most extensive recycling databases. Simply dial 1(800)CLEANUP, or simply enter in the material you are trying to recycle along with your zip code and click search.” Quick Search Terms: Automotive; Batteries; Construction; Electronics; Garden; Glass; Hazardous;… Continue Reading

1942 meeting document on organization and execution of “final solution”

Auschwitz Memorial: “20 January 1942 | A meeting was held in a villa in Berlin-Wannsee to discuss logistics and legal aspects of the operation of the extermination of Jews. This is a 29 page document from the #Wannsee conference protocol. Find documents here:” #NeverForget #AlwaysRemember #Holocaust Continue Reading

How to search Twitter with R

YouTube – “See how to search, filter, and sort tweets using R and the rtweet package. It’s a great way to follow conference hashtags. If you want to follow along with the optional code for creating clickable URL links, make sure to install the purrr package if it’s not already on your system.“ Continue Reading