UK Taxpayers Voices Have Been Stored By HMRC | Xuper IT | News

Millions of UK taxpayers voices have been stored by HMRC

Its been revealed that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have stored and analysed millions of UK taxpayers voices, without consent.

According to Big Brother Watch, HMRC’s voice ID system has collected 5.1 million audio signatures, however HMRC says the data is being held securely and emphasised that callers can choose not to use Voice ID.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have confirmed they are following up complaints about the service.  The use of Voice ID was launched last year and asks the callers to repeat the phrase “my voice is my password” to register.  Users can then use the phrase to confirm their identity when managing their taxes.


HMRC have claimed the Voice ID process is “very popular with customers” as it helps speed up security procedures and improve access to digital services.

However, Big Brother Watch director, Silkie Carlo said “These voice IDs could allow ordinary citizens to be identified by government agencies across other areas of their private lives” and has called on HMRC to “delete the five million voiceprints they’ve taken.

They also stated taxpayers were being “railroaded into a mass ID scheme” and were not being given the choice to opt out.

This is particularly an issue as The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force across the EU last month, required organisations to obtain consent before they use biometric data to identify someone, including voice recordings.

You can read more about GDPR in our previous post here.