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What’s been bothering us this fortnight
Security advice for PC and mobile
HMRC ‘records taxpayers’ voices without consent’
Millions of taxpayers’ voices have been recorded by HMRC without their consent, according to the privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch (BBW). The tax office has allegedly collected 5.1 million ‘voiceprints’ from UK citizens who were trying to access its tax-credits and self-assessment helplines. Callers from January 2017 onward were unable to speak to advisors without repeating the phrase “My voice is my password” on an automated line, the group claims. “Taxpayers are being railroaded into a mass ID scheme that is incredibly disturbing,” said BBW director Silkie Carlo.
Capturing people’s voice recordings without their consent or making clear what it’s being used for is in contravention of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the new GDPR rules, unless HMRC can demonstrate a legitimate interest in collecting such data.
An HMRC spokesperson said: “Our Voice ID system is very popular with customers as it gives a quick and secure route into our systems. The Voice ID data storage meets the highest government and industry standards for security.” bit.ly/hmrc453
Ticketmaster data breach affects thousands
Concert ticket vendor Ticketmaster has admitted that a malware attack on a third-party vendor has left thousands of its UK customers at risk of identity theft or fraud.
The malicious software, which Ticketmaster spotted on a customersupport product hosted by In benta Technologies, was exporting customers’ data to an unknown third party, the firm said in a statement. Several reports say as many as 40,000 UK customers have had their details breached, including names, addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, payment details and Ticketmaster logins. Users who purchased or attempted to purchase tickets between February and June 2018 may be affected.
“As soon as we discovered the malicious software, we disabled the In benta product across all Ticketmaster websites,” a spokesperson said, adding, “We recommend that you monitor your account statements for evidence of fraud or identity theft. If you are concerned or notice any suspicious activity on your account, you should contact your bank and any credit card companies.” bit.ly/ticketmaster453