Talking voiceprint biometrics on 1395 FIVEaa

FIVEaa logo“Two of America’s biggest retail banks — JPMorgan Chase & Co, and Wells Fargo & Co — are quietly recording the biometric details of some callers’ voices to weed out fraud,” reported Associated Press this week. The news caught the eye of Will Goodings at 1395 FIVEaa in Adelaide. I told him that the Americans are way behind Australia on this one.

All of the Big Four banks here are already using voiceprints. In the case of NAB and Westpac, since about 2009.

In fact, Australia is a world leader in voiceprint technology. In a Patch Monday podcast from March 2012, I spoke with Dr Clive Summerfield, chief executive of Auraya, who told me that Australia’s social services agency Centrelink has been using voiceprints to identify callers since 2005, and more than 95% of callers are identified this way. Voiceprints are also used by the Australian Taxation Office.

Here’s a recording of the conversation we had on air on Friday afternoon, complete with a talkback caller who followed me.

The audio is ©2014 dmgRadio Australia.

Weekly Wrap 95: Speaking of chainsaws…

My usual weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets. This post covers the week from Monday 26 March to Sunday 1 April 2012.

Not so much media output this week, ‘cos I was dealing with a web development matter for a long-standing client, I researched one story that turned out to be a fizzer, and yesterday I got caught up in a cleaning the hackers out of a website. Plus I recorded tomorrow’s Patch Monday podcast early. Plus it hit the end of the month and I reckon my editors’ freelancer budgets had run out.


  • Patch Monday episode 131, “Your word is your log-in, literally”. Dr Clive Summerfield, chief executive of Australian company Auraya, talks about the state of the art in voice biometric authentication. Fascinating stuff from a great explainer.


Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse


The Week Ahead

I won’t be able to lock in the week ahead until I talk to some people on Monday morning. However there’s a technical briefing on the NBN rollout in Sydney on Monday that might be useful to attend, and I’m thinking of sitting in with a team participating in the Cyber Defence University Challenge and turning that into a podcast. But, as I say, I’ll work that out tomorrow.

Friday, of course, is Good Friday, and I’ll be moving down to Sydney for a couple weeks while Bunjaree Cottages enjoys the busy time of school holidays.


Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream (or they used to before my phone camera got a bit too scratched up). The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.

[Photo: Chirgwin with Chainsaw: Bunjaree Cottages proprietor Richard Chirgwin observes all safety precautions — although technically this photograph, actually a frame grab from a video, belongs to last week as it was taken on 25 March.]