TalkTalk gets rid of passwords for customers in favour of voice recognition system

The change comes just months after the company was the subject of one of the biggest hacks in recent history

TalkTalk is getting rid of passwords and swapping them for voice recognition systems, just months after it was hacked in one of the biggest cyber attacks in history.

The company will now allow people simply to talk into a computer, which will be able to recognise their voice, rather than using traditional ways of checking that a person is who they say they are. The system will recognise certain characteristics of a person’s voice, allowing them to do away with identifying themselves using relatively easily compromised personal information like their date of birth or their mother’s maiden name.

The move is one of a range of measures that the company has taken to improve its image around security since it was hacked months ago.

To set up the system, TalkTalk customers will be asked to say a phrase three times. That phrase will then be captured and stored, so that the system will be able to recognise subscribers when they call again.

When those customers call again TalkTalk’s computer will analyse over 100 characteristics of their voice, the company said, checking “the shape of larynx, vocal tract and nasal passage, alongside pronunciation, emphasis and speed of their speech”. If those match up with the recorded voice then the system will let them in.

Late last year TalkTalk was subject to a huge cyber attack that saw 160,000 customers’ details released.

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