HMRC are using voice identification (Voice ID) technology to enhance the security of taxpayers’ accounts. The technology reduces the risk of fraud, making information safer. HMRC also state that it makes it easier and faster to speak to an HMRC adviser.

HMRC have published a privacy impact assessment of the project’s use of personal data. The assessment is readily available on the website here.

HMRC use biometric technology to capture a voice sample from a live caller. This is compared to a previously stored voiceprint. Comparing the two produces a confidence score of how closely the caller’s voice sample matches the voiceprint. HMRC will disclose that they are using voice identification technology to callers; callers will also have the ability to opt out. Voiceprints are stored in a secure database behind a firewall and the data will be held for two years. The impact assessment identifies various privacy risks and the action taken to mitigate those risks.