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Finally - selfies have a purpose

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  • Finally - selfies have a purpose

    From The Kiplinger Tax Letter, May 5, 2017:

    The AL DOR (Department of Revenue) is the first in the country to launch a voluntary program designed to add an extra security layer to prevent the filing of fraudulent returns using stolen taxpayer identification.

    If you have an iPhone, you can download an app and establish a credential by scanning your driver's license, taking a selfie, and registering with the (AL) DOR. The selfie is cross-referenced to the photo that was taken when you got your license. When a tax return is filed in your name, you'll get a text message from the DOR asking you to authenticate it by taking another photo and then approving or denying the return filing. GA is next on board (for testing). If the program is effective, expect more states to adopt it.
    Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

  • #2
    Do they actually compare the photos?  Interesting

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    • #3
      You are kidding Alabama department of Revenue is the first to do this?

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      • #4
        Probably just a mechanism to gather a ton of data and feed it into face matching algorithms for our "protection". Sounds fun.

         

        Also, I dont get it. I mean it sounds expensive, complicated, and likely to be addressing a nearly nonexistent problem or one that could be solved more elegantly and cheaper.

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        • #5
          How does this help?  Can't the identity thief just send a picture of the victim when the photo is requested.

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          • #6




            How does this help?  Can’t the identity thief just send a picture of the victim when the photo is requested.
            Click to expand...


            I suppose it would be highly unusual for an ID thief to be able to take a selfie over your shoulder. Even considering it's the Alabama DOR  ops: , they have presumably considered the ramifications.

            It's actually not a nearly nonexistent problem (responding to @Zaphod). Not taking a position here, but tax ID theft is a growing problem for tax filers and tax departments. The IRS allows taxpayers to apply for and obtain a special ID theft pin only after being victimized, shutting the barn door after the horse is out of the stall.
            Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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            • #7







              How does this help?  Can’t the identity thief just send a picture of the victim when the photo is requested.
              Click to expand…


              I suppose it would be highly unusual for an ID thief to be able to take a selfie over your shoulder.
              Click to expand...


              They wouldn't actually take the photo.  There are other ways.  For example, they could just send a photo they get from social media or whatever.  People post photos of themselves all over the place these days.

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              • #8


                They wouldn’t actually take the photo.  There are other ways.  For example, they could just send a photo they get from social media or whatever.  People post photos of themselves all over the place these days.
                Click to expand...


                OK, then, hasn't technology advanced to the point that an agency can identify whether a photo came from a specific cell phone #? If so, how difficult and expensive is that?

                I realize maybe it's not as simple as me looking at my phone to see who sent a message but surely this issue has been addressed. It doesn't appear to me to be as complicated as you guys are making it sound, but I'll readily admit there is a lot I don't know about these issues.
                Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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                • #9
                  I like selfies. ?

                  I am not so much interested in the tax filing piece.

                  I hope to get a selfie with Johanna at the WCI conference in 2018. ?

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                  • #10





                    They wouldn’t actually take the photo.  There are other ways.  For example, they could just send a photo they get from social media or whatever.  People post photos of themselves all over the place these days. 
                    Click to expand…


                    OK, then, hasn’t technology advanced to the point that an agency can identify whether a photo came from a specific cell phone #? If so, how difficult and expensive is that?

                    I realize maybe it’s not as simple as me looking at my phone to see who sent a message but surely this issue has been addressed. It doesn’t appear to me to be as complicated as you guys are making it sound, but I’ll readily admit there is a lot I don’t know about these issues.
                    Click to expand...


                    Those elements can be identified, but they can also be altered.  The time the photo was taken, where it was sent from, etc. can all be easily manipulated by someone who knows what they're doing.

                    I'm not an expert either, but as far as I am aware the only way that they could make this sending a selfie thing work is by adding a whole bunch of additional measures that would make the photo itself superfluous.

                    Are you aware of any other agency or organization (banks, etc.) that has sending a selfie as a method of authentication?  If not, there is probably a reason for that.

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                    • #11
                      I would take any step towards increased identification as a positive. I currently have a specific random pin that i file each year because someone used my social to file their taxes. When i needed tax information for a home loan it took twice as long because of automatic holds on my ssn.

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                      • #12
                        Better method would be to systematically murder all people stealing identity to file false returns.

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