Category: biometrics

May 10, 2019 Off

UK tax office ordered to delete millions of unlawful biometric voiceprints

By Jill T Frey

The U.K.’s data protection watchdog has issued the government department responsible for collecting taxes with a final enforcement notice, after an investigation found HMRC had collected biometric data from millions of citizens without obtaining proper consent.

HMRC has 28 days from the May 9 notice to delete any Voice ID records where it did not obtain explicit consent to record and create a unique biometric voiceprint linked to the individual’s identity. 

The Voice ID system was introduced in January 2017, with HMRC instructing callers to a helpline to record a phrase to use their voiceprint as a password. The system soon attracted criticism for failing to make it clear that people did not have to agree to their biometric data being recorded by the tax office.

In total, some 7 million U.K. citizens have had voiceprints recorded via the system. HMRC will now have to delete the majority of … Read the rest