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US pols worried about voice cloning. Industry says they’ve got it covered

US pols worried about voice cloning. Industry says they’ve got it covered
 

If some U.S. Senators are worried about the security of voice biometrics being used by banks, software vendors say they see little but upside in their future.

Four Senators want an executive branch regulator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to “take action” to stop people from using AI algorithms in voice-cloning attacks on consumers.

Not unexpectedly, at least two cybersecurity software makers are saying the ID verification apps bring safety and efficiency to biometrics-secured remote financial transactions. New remote activity creates new business for banks.

It’s the safety claim, however, that has some concerned.

A spring banking committee meeting led by Sen. Sherrod Brown, an influential Democrat, looked at examples of successful white-hat hacking of voice software security.

In May, Brown, chairman of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, asked six giants in U.S. banking how they employ and secure voice recognition.

Then, this month, Brown was joined by fellow Senators Tina Smith, Jack Reed and Bob Menendez, in asking the financial bureau to assess the threat and put some guardrails on the industry’s use of voice biometrics to protect against cloning.

No specific actions were requested.

The day after the call, fintech trade publisher Finextra posted an interview with the CEO of ID verifier Veridas about biometrics in cybersecurity. Eduardo Azanza apparently did not address voice cloning but illustrated how biometrics-based transactions can enable remote dealings that otherwise can create new, fee-generating services.

At almost the same time, voice-authentication vendor ValidSoft posted on its site the case for voice being a part of a company’s omnichannel security strategy.

Voice is just another biometrics method fintechs can use to reduce friction and increase account security, according to ValidSoft. And paired with security codes, it can add a continuous authentication hurdle for criminals.

ValidSoft also avoids the shadow of voice cloning.

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