Congress investigates ID.me, a company charged with fighting EDD fraud

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One of the contractors featured by the California Department of Employment Development as an important part of their fraud prevention system is now under investigation by Congress. ID.me was already under fire from some lawmakers for possibly misrepresenting how their facial recognition algorithm works. The Congressional Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis expressed some of those same concerns along with several others. In a letter to ID.me CEO Blake Hall, the subcommittee states, “Studies have shown that African American or Asian women are up to 100 times more likely than white men to be misidentified. by the ID.me system. They added that they were concerned that performance shortcomings and technology requirements of ID.me had compromised the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of the programs. pandemic-related unemployment assistance showing long delays and problems even for identity verification by Californians trying to collect unemployment Some would wait hours, days, even weeks without anyone coming in line to do the check. The letter goes on to say that Hall made extraordinary claims about fraud that appeared to benefit his company. They quote Hall saying that, nationally, unemployment fraud had reached over $400 billion. .Although it has not reached this amount, more than 20 billion dollars have been paid by the Californian EDD. The California fraud is considered the worst tax fraud in US history. Related | Watch KCRA’s Full EDD Fraud Documentary 3 Investigates Easy MoneyCongress says the increase in numbers has prompted federal, state and local government agencies to hire Hall’s company to perform identity verification. This is despite the fact that many states experienced significant verification delays after implementing their system, and many Californians saw their already approved applications frozen in delays trying to verify their identity. A public relations firm representing ID.me sent a statement that read, in part, “We look forward to providing important insights to the Committee on how ID.me has expanded access to government for disadvantaged Americans, including including people who have no credit history, are underbanked or homeless.” The rest of the statement did not address any of the specific issues raised by the subcommittee. Congress requires ID.me to provide detailed lists of all of their federal, state, and local government contracts under which they use biometric authentication. They are also looking at how many employees were actually working with states to verify unemployment as well as the origin of Hall’s fraud estimates. ID.me has until April 28 to submit the documentation to the Congressional subcommittee.

One of the contractors featured by the California Department of Employment Development as an important part of their fraud prevention system is now under investigation by Congress.

ID.me was already under fire from some lawmakers for possibly misrepresenting how their facial recognition algorithm works. The Congressional Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis expressed some of those same concerns along with several others.

In a letter to ID.me CEO Blake Hall, the subcommittee says, “Studies have shown that African American or Asian women are up to 100 times more likely than white men to be unwell. identified” by the ID.me system. They added that they are concerned that performance shortcomings and technology requirements of ID.me have compromised the effectiveness, efficiency and fairness of pandemic-related unemployment assistance programs.

The subcommittee also expressed concerns about issues first raised by KCRA 3 Investigates last year, showing long delays and problems even with identity verification by Californians trying to collect unemployment. Some would wait hours, days or even weeks without anyone coming in line to do the verification.

The letter goes on to say that Hall made extraordinary claims about the fraud that appeared to benefit his business. They quote Hall saying that, nationally, unemployment fraud had reached more than $400 billion. Although it did not reach this amount, more than 20 billion dollars were paid by the Californian EDD. The California Fraud is considered the worst taxpayer fraud in US history.

Related | Watch Full Documentary KCRA 3 Investigates EDD Fraudulent Easy Money

Congress said the surge in numbers prompted government agencies, federal, state and local, to hire Hall’s company to perform identity verification. This is despite the fact that many states experienced significant verification delays after implementing their system, and many Californians saw their already approved applications frozen in delays trying to verify their identity.

A PR firm representing ID.me sent a statement that said, in part, “We look forward to providing important information to the Committee on how ID.me has expanded access to government for disadvantaged Americans, including people who have no credit history, are underbanked or homeless.”

The remainder of the statement does not address any of the specific issues raised by the subcommittee.

Congress requires ID.me to provide detailed lists of all of their federal, state, and local government contracts under which they use biometric authentication. They are also looking at how many employees were actually working with states to verify unemployment as well as the origin of Hall’s fraud estimates.

ID.me has until April 28 to send the documentation to the Congressional subcommittee.

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