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Study: People Say Voice Verificaiton Is a Valid Security Measure

May 14, 2008
U.S. consumers say voice verification is a valid method of personal data protection, according to a new study sponsored by a supplier of speech and imaging solutions.
 
About 60 percent of 576 respondents said they were “likely” to use voice verification as a form of security after hearing an audio clip of the process, according to the study, from market research firm Harris Interactive (News - Alert). The study was funded by New York-based Nuance Communications, Inc.
 
The figure represents a higher segment than the 40 percent who said they would prefer to do business with a company that provides voice verification solutions, according to Harris Interactive.
 
According to Nuance’s (News - Alert) president of caller authentication, Chuck Buffum, more and more consumers want improved personal data security, and view voice verification as more secure than traditional means.
 
 “This study suggests that consumers would prefer to do business with companies offering voice verification as a means to protect their personal data,” Buffum said.
 
According to Nuance, the study was conducted through e-mail and phone interviews last month. All 576 respondents were U.S. residents, 18 or older, who had contacted customer service within the prior year. Nuance officials added this caveat to their findings: “No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.”
 
According to the study, nearly 40 percent of respondents viewed voice verification as a business differentiator. According to the study, 61 percent of respondents described the method as a secure form of identity verification for phone access to customer service data, and 83 percent agreed that institutions should require different forms of identity verification, depending on the type of transaction.
 
As more and more information is transferred through wireless means, security is becoming more and more important. Just today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security awarded a $1.2 billion contract to a software company, in hopes that the company can create a more secure e-mail system for the government agency.
 
Voice verification is one of many security methods on the market, including memorable information such as passwords or personal identification numbers, or confirming Social Security, phone and account number information.
 
Nuance reports that while consumers said they wanted improved data protection, they wanted those improvements to be convenient. When asked why they would use voice verification, the top two responses were that it combats identity theft (23 percent) and that you don’t have to remember a password or personal identification number (19 percent), according to the company.
 
Michael Dinan is a TMCNet Editor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
 
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