Advantages and disadvantages of voice biometrics

Voice biometrics is one of the most widely used systems in the world for identifying people and gaining access to buildings, bank accounts, and so on.

One of the disadvantages of this type of biometrics is that it can be affected by background noises such as those found on a crowded street, airplane or public transportation. A robust voice biometrics solution needs to introduce software and algorithms together with countermeasures to compensate for the eventual background noise.

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Some people who use this type of biometry fear that someone could overhear them speaking their password phrase to the computer and then steal their identity. This is impossible because voice biometry registers the user’s voice as well as the authentication phrase or phrases.

According to Walter Hamilton, executive director and vice president of the International Biometrics & Identification Association, “Someone could obtain a high-quality recording of you pronouncing your password phrase and use it to hack your accounts.” Several different methods exist to fight against this type of attack, such as the “Nuance”, which eliminates the password phrase.

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