Benefit cheats face lie detectors

liartrashOh please.

Here’s a great way to start your day: in the BBC headlines this morning (5 April), news that voice stress analysis will be used in job centres to test benefit claimants:

Lie detectors will be used to help root out benefit cheats, Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton has said. So-called “voice-risk analysis software” will be used by council staff to help identify suspect claims. It can detect minute changes in a caller’s voice which give clues as to when they may be lying. The technology is already used by the insurance industry to combat fraud and will be trialled by Harrow Council, in north London, from May.

Said it before, and will no doubt say it again: voice stress analysis [pdf] is junk science. Relying on VSA in job centres will mean that genuine benefit claimants will be wrongly accused and fraudsters will continue to get away with it. So depressing to see the snake oil salespeople achieving success in the UK.

Photo credit: Patrick T Power, Creative Commons License

One thought on “Benefit cheats face lie detectors”

Leave a Reply