Voice biometrics in use in the insurance industry

I was down at a Voice Biometrics event in London yesterday and had a chance to catch up with some people I'd interviewed for an in-house insurance magazine the other month.

It seems that, contrary to what I originally thought, a sizeable minority of insurance companies are using VSA - voice stress analysis - technology on their claims lines - without alerting punters to the fact their call is being analysed.

The insurance companies claim that the warning that "calls may be recorded for training purposes" is sufficient caveat to cover their use of VSA technology on calls.

Personally I have my doubts. The software I saw at the show, meanwhile, was a doddle to use. As your call progresses, if you say anything that is potentially problematic, a plot appears above a taskbar line on the agent's screen.

If too many plots appear above the taskbar line, then the call centre agent passes the call to a specialist claims agent who can then discuss the `problematic items' on the claim with the client.

The $64,000 question, of course, is can VSA technology be beaten? From what I've learned, it can be beaten but it requires a degree of training.

The worrying thing is that around a quarter of insurance companies in the UK are now using VSA technology, so if you tell a lie next time you claim something from an insurance company, there's a good chance you will be rumbled.

You have been warned...