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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.”

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.”­et­mas­ter453

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