UK Liberty

voice analysers

Posted in Uncategorized by ukliberty on April 13, 2007

The BBC:

Lie detectors will be used to help root out benefit cheats, Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton has said.

So-called “voice-risk analysis software” will be used by council staff to help identify suspect claims.

It can detect minute changes in a caller’s voice which give clues as to when they may be lying.

Matthew Parris in the Times:

There are those, of course, who say the technology is unproven. At Prime Minister’s Questions it will face the ultimate challenge. The most consummate confidence trickster on the planet v the most accurate fib-sensor American research can devise. If at noon on Wednesday the buzzer does not sound when Tony Blair speaks, then the whole technology can be scrapped as useless.

But seriously, my only real objection to the use of such systems – so long as they are effective – is that they may discourage legitimate claimants.

In an older BBC article discussing the use of these systems by the insurance industry, the managing director of one supplier said,

We use the technology in a live environment, and we also use operators that have been trained in identifying behaviours associated with truth and deception.

We’re then able to be fairly certain, not 100%, but fairly certain, that there are risk problems within a claim that need further validation.

The psychology of that persuades many claimants to withdraw from the process altogether.

Stammerers, for example, could be among such people.

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