Feeds

back to article UK Gov deploys lie detectors on benefits claims

Benefits claimants will now have to face a software lie detector test under a new regime to be outlined today by Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton. Hutton says the system is designed to speed up the claims process for "the honest majority", and weed out the cheats. The software will analyse a caller's voice for signs of …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Anonymous Coward

What a brilliant idea.

"The software will analyse a caller's voice for signs of stress,"

Living, as they often are, below the breadline, without work and feeling self-concious and dishonoured, would it not be more surprising if a benefits claimant wasn't showing signs of stress.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Don't buy insurance from this man

I bought car insurance last year, whenever my boss walked in I had to hang up. So I'm waiting listening to the opening threats of prosecution that they have on these things. (ring Directline, you'll see what I mean) and the boss walks in, and I hang up. I'm not allowed to use the company phone for private business.

This happened 3 or 4 times and I'm stressed looking at the door to see if the boss will walk in, and trying to keep my voice down.

Finally I get through, and because I know that there is a computer flagging me as stressed, for some reason this made me even more stressed. Part way through the conversation, I think, "hold on, I don't need this shit, I can take my money elsewhere, and I chose not to be judged by a piece of software" I hung up. Directline lost the sale.

Instead I stopped off at an insurance broker's shop and bought from them.

Now I've decided any company that relies too much on computer scoring or voice analysis equipment like this won't get my business. Because they're replacing judgement based on full knowledge with a number from a computer, and I know how unreliable those arbitrary numbers are.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Pfffff...

The only lie that has ever been conclusively proved to be a lie by the use of lie detectors is "Lie Detectors Work".

Why don't they just employ astrologers try to decide who is or isn't honest? I'd probably be cheaper, quicker and just as accurate.

0
0

What a joke!

Give me a break! The polygraph has been fairly thoroughly discredited over the last twenty years, and now they want to use an even less reliable device? And via the telephone? Sigh. They'd do far better spending the money on streamlining proceedures for dealing with evidence.

0
0

Sociopaths charter

Even if this works (i.e. doesn't throw up an unmanageable number of dubious false positives), surely this approach is based on the assumption that benefit fraud is primarily carried out by people who exhibit vocal stress symptoms when lying. If you are one of those sociopaths who feels no compunction about raiding the public purse fraudulently, it's going to have no impact whatsoever. Similarly, if you are the sort of person who just gets nervous when interacting with authority figures or in interview situations generally, you are going to be summarily harassed.

Remember how the CSA found it easiest to attack absent fathers who were already contributing to the upkeep of their children, just not at the levels commensurate with the CSA's mysterious random number generation verdicts? This smacks of the same lazy-arsed thinking. Quite apart from the fact that this software sounds like something that might have more utility as a pub game (even more rigorous polygraph "evidence" is not admissible in court to my knowledge), this is only likely to snare some quite low-level offenders. The real problem cases will carry on unperturbed, I imagine, safe in the knowledge that as long as they don't care, they won't get red flagged.

0
0

Headlines

This is headline grabbing at its very poorest.

What a complete waste of tax payer's money......again

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Pass me a drawing pin....

Any 'Drawing pin under your big toe' gen?

Deliberately induce stress on the control questions and your away!

It is far to easy to cheat the software, this will just harass genuine claimants who are of a nervous disposition or are embarrassed at having to claim.

0
0

New form of harrassment of benefit claiments

So they plan to use polygraph systems to check benefit claims including disability and housing. This is surely another form of harrasment of the most needy amongst us and should be stopped now before it goes ahead at the trial stage.

As discredited as they are these polygraph systems must be removed from use like this. It takes an expert to interprete the results and then its a very low level of success. A general assessment by a computer does not in anyway consider circumstances both physical and mental.

Lets do away with the polygraph systems now and anyway they can not be used in law in England and Wales anyway.

0
0

Why not Sylvia Browne too?

VSA was initially marketed on the claim it was 'better' than the conventional polygraph. Hmm, 10 times 0 = 0.

The polygraph worked not as a lie detector but as a liar intimidator. If the suspect believes the machine works, he is more likely to confess without ever being hooked up. There is also the little matter of of being asked and required to answer questions that in a normal police interview would not be permitted by legal counsel. It's all about the intimidation factor.

So along comes VSA which measures even less than the polygraph - but essentially the same thing - and through the power of the beliefs of the purchaser, can uncover remotely what the polygraph could not under any circumstance.

Both are worse than useless,both have cult-like followings, and both remind me of some of the magic tech I have seen debunked on James Randi's site.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.