Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have found themselves in the headlines this week following an accusation that they have taken the voice ID of 5 million tax payers – without their consent.
When customers phone the tax office, to pass through an automated security step they must repeat the phrase “my voice is my password” several times. Upon doing this, they are then granted access to the services of HMRC.
The ICO is investigating this issue after it was brought to their attention that this process had forced people into a process that they hadn’t opted into. To access services, they must speak into the phone. This unsolicited recording of their voice goes against our data regulation laws.
HMRC currently holds around 5.1 million different voice recordings, and it has been revealed that they have refused to disclose which, if any, other departments have had access to the recordings, how they store them and how they use them.
Voice IDs have been designed and rolled out so that only the individual can access their account, as they use their voice to do so. However, due to their being no option to opt in, or indeed opt out, this has been seen as an unlawful way of collecting and storing data, and it is now up to the ICO to decide how they will manage the situation going forward.
As technology advances and we continue to move forward into a more technological world, data breaches are inevitable, but they are also preventable with the correct security systems in place. Here at SCS Technology Solutions, we are a team of friendly, reliable IT experts with over 20 years of experience in the industry. We have built our organisation on outstanding service and would be more than happy to conduct an IT review where we review your assets, infrastructure, systems, practices and business strategy, prior to starting any IT projects.
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