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Voice biometrics seen by some, at least, as strategic

Voice biometrics seen by some, at least, as strategic

Today’s biometrics opportunity/concern is voice. Vendors and buyers of ID management products are moving aggressively into voice recognition, yet at least one developed economy in the world is accused of not taking it seriously enough as a fraud-fighting tool.

In one of the higher-profile developments in the voice recognition market, an Australian Greens senator is poking hard at a yearling central-government cybersecurity defense program.

The 10-year, AU$9.9 billion (US$6.65 billion) program, Redspice, ultimately will triple Australia‘s offensive cyber capabilities. According to the government, it is an unprecedented event in the 75-year history of the nation’s spy organization.

But unless it is buried in a 2021-2022 budget appendix, voice recognition defense or offenses are not mentioned once in military spending. Sen. David Shoebridge, who says he wants a government-of-the-whole response to voice deepfakes and related threats.

It does not help that an Australian journalist working for The Guardian has reported on his ability to clone his voice and access his account in Centrelink, a master program within Services Australia.

According to Guardian reporting, Services Australia seems unconcerned about the situation. An unnamed staff member reportedly said the department’s voice ID service boasts “highly secure authentication.”

Shoebridge told The Guardian voice recognition’s this is “deeply troubling.”

Vendors are, naturally, pushing in the same direction, saying a sophisticated portfolio featuring voice ID is critical for any potential target. It should not be an also-ran in budgeting.

Fabian Eberle, co-founder of Keyless Technologies contributed his perspective on voice generally, and banking in particular. Eberle admitted that voice ID has flaws the same as any other security product.

Banks, for instance, have always applied multiple, redundant and stepped security schemes, he says.

BIO-key did much the same as Keyless, making the case for flexible authentication products and policies for contact centers.

The message is being heard. South Korea’s SK Telecom has signed a contract for voice authentication by Pindrop. Few details of the deal were released, although the pair say they will integrate Pindrop products in SKT products.

SKT is using Pindrop’s Voice API for customer authentication and corporate security.

In a statement, an SKT general manager of enterprise AI said executives “anticipate expanding our presence into the security and commerce markets in the near future.”

Pindrop, meanwhile, says the Voice API and its liveness detection are both available for “general market use” as of this month. The company will continue its Asia expansion, as well.

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