Company to Use Selfies in 2017 to Help Taxpayers with ID Theft Risk

MorphoTrust USA is preparing to utilize selfies in the 2017 tax season in an attempt to help taxpayers avoid the risks posed by identity thieves who try to steal their refund checks.

The company, which is based in Massachusetts, has created a secure electronic ID (eID) online that uses the state’s driver’s license process to come to the aid of consumers who file taxes online. The technology will be tried out first in Georgia and North Carolina because the firm has already made agreements with the governments of those states to implement the plan.

With the eID, taxpayers will be able to pre-register for the service prior to tax season and have the protection in place by the time they file. MorphoTrust uses a mobile app on the user’s smartphone. When the user wants to get the eID issued, they use the app, which will guide them through a three-step process.

The process involves scanning the back of their driver’s license to read the code that pulls personal data from the card. The user then flips the card over to scan the front where the system uses the mobile device to authenticate the license, and then the user takes a selfie. The company’s service brings the process back to the state that issued the license, so there is a one-to-one match with the self and the picture on the driver’s license.

The firm’s technology may also be used for verification of buyers in online purchases.

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