back to article Open Sesame, says Google... to voice identification: Speech ID adds biometric security to call-centre bots

Google has launched a speech identification system aimed at commercial call centres – leaving some biometric security questions unanswered at the same time. According to the Chocolate Factory, Speaker ID is a way of identifying callers using just their voice, seemingly avoiding annoying and time-consuming ID check from the …

  1. b0llchit Silver badge

    Commercial interest must be there

    I think that there will be fairly large interest in this tech from the fake ID business companies(aka criminals). The prospect of automatic identification of the customer(aka victim) is very much appreciated. The investment in deep fake voice systems and automatic bank clearing conversations becomes a literal flip-of-the-switch operation. Just sit back and get rich.

    So, soon we'll have machines literally barking up the silicon tree over the internet to other machines to identify non-machines and plundering the non-machine's life. What is not to like, say the fake ID business companies. And the best of all... Google will profit, regardless of how it is used. You just have to wonder when your dependency will fail because Google decides to go in a different direction, yet again.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As an additional security measure it is very good. But lets be clear, nothing can replace the security of the last 4 digits of a persons social security number - if the person can remember them.

    1. Cybersaber

      Wanted to +1 your post for the obvious (to me) humor, but there's enough bad security advice out that that I didn't want to risk someone thinking you were being serious that last 4 of SSN was actually secure. I compromised on a reply post.

      +1 for the laugh.

  3. Muscleguy for the referenced Burnistoun sketch which is very good. Note it is Scottish people taking the piss out of Scottish people.

  4. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Our customers are excited

    But I bet most of your customers' customers aren't. How many times do you go through a robot menu shouting 'get me a f'kin human, robot!'?

    1. harmjschoonhoven

      Re: Our customers are excited

      After you exhausted all the options and get in a loop: Press 1, 2 or 3 none of which include connect me to a person of flesh and blood, press 0. The answer will be We did not receive a valid number. Repreat this 4 (four) times and the answer wil change to You will now be connected to an operator, bleep, bleep, .... After another 15(!) minutes someone identifying himself as, say, Jesse will answer the phone.

      1. trindflo Bronze badge

        Re: Our customers are excited

        someonething identifying him itself as, say, Jesse will answer the phone


    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Our customers are excited

      I actually like the scene in Small Soldiers where Alan Abernathy asks to be put through to a machine: idiot humans slavishly following scripts are the worst!

  5. Potemkine! Silver badge

    "Eleven. Eleh-ven. Ala-vuhn*. Oh never mind"

    Nice reference. Always a good moment to re-re-re-re watch that sketch

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Big Brother is listening in to you

    and now he thinks he knows who you are.

  7. Psmo

    That sounds annoying

    Three seconds of check with a 25% percent success rate? Sounds like money saved through making your support line annoying to call

  8. big_D Silver badge


    I hope the call centres remember that it has to be opt-in under GDPR, recording biometric information without the opt-in of the party being recorded is illegal in most EU countries.

    1. Chris G

      Re: Opt-in

      The article mentions normal authentification followed by the provision of a 3 second voice sample, so at the moment it is opt in.

      You can be dure though, that google is building a data set of as many voices as possible without necessarily informing people of their contribution.

      Next of course will be even more targeted ads based on the tracking of your vocal conversations across the net.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Opt-in

        yeah, this is getting a little minority reportish for my liking. Not a fan of the same companies that operate always on "voice assistants" also developing voice ID and tracking capabilites. No matter how much they promise that those two guys work on opposite sides of the office, and never ever eat lunch together.

        Or maybe I am just a grouchy old man, and I can still remember the Google spy vans that totally weren't capturing any of our wifi payload. A system that they turned off, by they way, only after building it into your phones, and making it run in an unkillable process.

  9. ilithium

    Flashback to the 90s

    "Hi, my name is Werner Brandis. My voice is my passport. Verify me." :)

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