There are differing opinions of whether the new biometric voice recognition system put in place at New York Department of Corrections is a violation of prisoners’ rights and civil liberties, according to Popular Mechanics.
“Once the data exists, and it becomes an accepted part of what’s happening, it’s very hard to protect or limit its use in the future,” said Jerome Greco, a digital forensics attorney at New York’s Legal Aid Society. “If you have a family member convicted of a crime, yet you haven’t been, why are you now having your information being used for government investigations?” Greco added.
Other facilities have ad- opted Investigator Pro, the software developed by Securus Technologies, a telecommunications firm. Facilities in Arkansas, Georgia, Flor- ida, Connecticut and Texas have purchased this technology.
The way the system works is inmates have to agree to submit their voices to Investigator Pro or they will not be able to utilize the phone system at the jails. The system will hold a minimum of 200,000 voices, and the technology was developed by a
$50 million dollar grant by the Department of Defense, according to the article.
The technology itself is spreading, as the same soft- ware techniques are used by banks in Asia for customer security authentication, and call centers use them for detecting customer emotions, according to the article.
Prison rights advocates say the technology does have some advantages, such as exposing gang-related activities. It can also aid some of the prisoners, who might be bullied into giving up their phone time to another inmate. The system was created to detect fraud, according to the article.