US oversight board wants answers on biometric accuracy, contracts and more

Leaders of the US House Oversight Committee wrote a lengthy letter to, reports the Washington Post, asking about the accuracy of its facial recognition, details of its contracts with 10 federal agencies and 30 state agencies .

The ten-page letter is addressed to CEO Blake Hall and written by Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn B. Maloney (DN.Y.) and Rep. James E. Clyburn (DS.C.) . It starts with reports of significant delays in identity verification processes and alleges that the company has misrepresented how its biometric technology works. This passage refers to Hall’s assertion that the company does not use 1:N facial recognition, only facial verification.

The letter also expresses concerns about the potential disparate accuracy of darker-skinned people, the difficulty older people may have using new technologies, and the accuracy of statements made by Hall and company about the number of frauds it has avoided.

Lawmakers are also asking how many people used the service to access unemployment insurance between March 2020 and February 2022, how many used the “Trusted Referee” program and how long they waited on average. They request information on the role of human review in fraud determinations using biometrics, how system inaccuracies are reviewed, and “Any internal documents describing trends in error rates and evaluations of the databases used to train the algorithms”.

As noted earlier, the facial biometrics algorithms used by are provided by iProov and Paravision, the latter of which is consistently ranked as a leader in lab testing accuracy by NIST. won a contract with the State of Washington to guarantee access to social benefits a few weeks ago.

Article topics

precision | algorithms | biometrics | data protection | facial recognition | fraud prevention | government purchases | | identity verification | IRS | United States Government

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