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More than 30,000 Australians registered voiceprints with ATO in biometric authentication rollout


The Australian Taxation Office announced that it has recorded more than 30,000 “voiceprints” from Australian citizens since the agency rolled out its new biometric authentication system, according to a report by ZDNet.

Using voice recognition technology, the ATO‘s voiceprint system generates a digital representation of the sound, rhythm, physical characteristics, and patterns in a person’s voice.

The ATO said that the new system is designed to curb identity theft as well as replace the previous password and answer based verification systems.

Having quietly rolled out the voiceprint system over the past couple of months, the ATO announced last month that it had introduced the biometric authentication service to verify some Australian taxpayers for some of its phone services.

The ATO announced as early as May that it was testing out the system in a smaller capacity before announcing this week that it has launched the new voice authentication system.

“In the last fortnight, over 30,000 Australians have already chosen to use our voice verification technology. It is a more efficient and secure service to the community,” second commissioner Geoff Leeper said in a statement. “For people who call us regularly, voice verification will speed up the authentication process and cut the time they need to spend on the phone to the ATO.”

Now when Australians contact the agency by phone, they will be given the option of recording a short voiceprint that can be used to verify their identity for future calls.In the future, the system will support individuals acting in their role as an intermediary, such as a registered tax agent.

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