Russian ATM Comes Packed With Lie-Detection Software

It’s never good to lie in a bank. But ATMs being tested out by the largest financial institution in Russia are upping the ante by attempting to catch credit fraudsters in the act.

Sberbank, whose majority owner happens to be the Russian government, is planning to use the ATMs to enable consumers who have never been a customer to walk up to the machines and apply for a credit card without ever speaking to a bank employee.

The process would work like this. The machine would scan your passport, fingerprints and face for facial recognition. Customers would then be asked questions like “Are you employed” and “At this moment, do you have any other outstanding loans?”

A voice analysis system developed by the Speech Technology, whose clients include the Federal Security Service (the descendant of the KGB), can assess whether the person is truthfully answering the questions.

Company officials said the system, which is programmed to detect whether the person is nervous or under stress, was designed with help from examining law enforcement recording databases of people found to be lying during police interviews.

The genesis of the system came from the global banking crisis and Sberbank’s desire to automate most activities.

What about privacy concerns, you say? No worries according to bank official Victor M. Orlovsky. The bank would not keep a database of voice biometrics and the system would apply to Russian privacy laws (you’ve got to wonder how strict those are).

“We are not violating a client’s privacy,” Orlovsky told the New York Times. “We are not climbing into the client’s brain. We aren’t invading their personal lives. We are just trying to find out if they are telling the truth. I don’t see any reason to be alarmed.”

Let’s hope no one from the TSA ever jumps on this interesting idea. Can you ever see a system like this seeing the light of day in the United States?


Posted by Brent Dirks on Jun 10, 2011

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