Centrelink leads voice authentication push

Centrelink will begin using a biometric voice authentication system to help manage clients, after investigating the technology for several years.

The technology, which is being supplied by Telstra, is currently on trail for 10 Centrelink employees but will be expanded to the general public this year. Users will have their identity verified through a voice authentication technology, based on a series of “secret questions”

Centrelink’s chief information officer John Wadeson told The Australian that the system will help ensure greater security for clients’ details.

“We were one of the first organisations back in 2002 to use voice as an online service when it was used to lodge income reports. For the past two years we’ve been playing with voice authentication, but until six months ago it wasn’t ready for serious use.”

“Now that it has matured, we have readied our IT systems to support this technology and are all set to go.”

“It is a bit of a process to record your voice, so the authentication software recognises it. But once you’ve done it, it’s done for good. From that point there will be one or two pre-recorded secret questions for a user to answer and then they will have access to the system and their account.”

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