Is providing a voice print when using the ATO Call Center mandatory ?

The request was partially successful.

Dear Australian Taxation Office,

When interacting with the Department call center, is it mandatory to have to make a 'voice print' ?

When placing a phone call to the Department, early in the automated call center process, the system reads a script to the caller which states that the caller will be given a 'choice' to make a voice print.

However the caller is not given the option to decline making a voice print, but is immediately instructed to 'repeat a phrase' in order to initiate the voice print recording.

If the caller remains silent, the system repeats the request to repeat the phrase.

If the caller remains silent a second time, then the system gives the caller the option to say the phrase "don't do this now".

Only after saying "don't do this now" is the caller able to proceed with the call and bypass making a voice print.

The system clearly does not give the caller the option decline from making a voice print upfront, and only presents an option to 'delay' making the voice print some way into the process.

If it is mandatory for callers to the Department Call Center to make a voice print, please could you provide me with a reference to the legislation which enables this.

Yours faithfully,
Ian King

FOI, Australian Taxation Office

1 Attachment

Dear FOI Applicant,
 
Please see attachment.
 
 
Yours faithfully,
 
FOI Team
 
 
 

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FOI, Australian Taxation Office

1 Attachment

 
Dear FOI Applicant,
 
Please see attachment.
 
 
 
Yours faithfully,
 
FOI Team
 
 

show quoted sections

Ian King left an annotation ()

Note :

The ATO response is a reference to a public ATO web page : https://www.ato.gov.au/General/Online-se... which states that "Enrolling your voiceprint is optional"

With reference to my original FOI request, I note that the Voice-authentication enrollment mechanism does not give the client the option to decline from enrolling in the program, but merely the option to delay enrollment until a later time. Therefore the current implementation of Voice-authentication is contrary to the statement that enrollment is optional.

I would be curious to know the commercial arrangements between the ATO and the vendor recording and storing the voice prints. How much the ATO is paying for each voice print recorded, and ongoing storage charges ...