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My Voice is My Password

Rhode Island paid over $220 million in unemployment insurance benefits last year, of which $1.4 million was obtained fraudulently. To prevent fraud, protect beneficiaries' identities and reduce...
by | November 22, 2008
 

Rhode Island paid over $220 million in unemployment insurance benefits last year, of which $1.4 million was obtained fraudulently. To prevent fraud, protect beneficiaries' identities and reduce the amount of improper payments, all Rhode Island unemployment insurance beneficiaries will be required to take part in the new voice authentication program. Rhode Island is the first state to launch a voice verification system, which will ask unemployment insurance customers to create a unique digital recording of their voice by speaking two phrases: "Good morning, Rhode Island" and "Good afternoon, my voice is my password." For subsequent calls to the telephone claims and payment system, the beneficiary will be asked to speak one of the phrases, which will be compared to their earlier digitized recording for authentication. If the system should fail to verify a "voiceprint", the caller will be guided to a manual identification process through the state Department of Labor and Training's call center staff. Voiceprints will be stored in the system up to three years, will be used for English, Spanish and Portuguese speakers, and will only be used as a way to identify a customer's continued eligibility for unemployment benefits.

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