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Alabama launches authentication app to stop tax refund fraud

Residents in Alabama can now add an extra level of security to protect against income tax refund theft. The state has partnered with IDEMIA to create Alabama eID, an electronic credential authenticated by state driver’s license issuing agencies.

Residents download an app, take a picture of their drivers license and a selfie to register their electronic ID. The system authenticates their identity by comparing the photos, ultimately giving users a way to prove their identity online.

After users have registered an eID with Alabama Department of Revenue, when a tax return is

filed in their name, they will receive a notification through the eID app that will prompt them to accept or deny the filing. Only the authenticated user can approve the processing, mitigating identity theft and tax fraud.

“This authenticated connection between digital identity and physical identity is what ensures only you can claim your state income tax refund,”  Ed Casey, CEO of IDEMIA Identity and Security North America, said in a statement.

The company, which until recently was called MorphoTrust, worked with Georgia on a similar project.

The app is available for download in Apple’s App Store and in the Google Play store for Android users.

Alabama eID is supported by a grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology under a program that supports the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace. IDEMIA also manages the enrollment services for TSA Pre-Check and the federal passport program.

About the Author

Matt Leonard is a reporter/producer at GCN.

Before joining GCN, Leonard worked as a local reporter for The Smithfield Times in southeastern Virginia. In his time there he wrote about town council meetings, local crime and what to do if a beaver dam floods your back yard. Over the last few years, he has spent time at The Commonwealth Times, The Denver Post and WTVR-CBS 6. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received the faculty award for print and online journalism.

Leonard can be contacted at mleonard@gcn.com or follow him on Twitter @Matt_Lnrd.

Click here for previous articles by Leonard.


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