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Lie detectors !!!!!

#1
Morning TV in the YM household is normally devoted Fireman Sam and Noddy, however this morning Mrs YM much to chagrin of YM Jnr, decided to catch up on the daily doom and gloom (news).

We were then treated to some vacuous suit full of bugger all, communist stasi type politician justifying the decision to install Lie Detectors on DWP phone lines.

Now allow me a tin foil moment but where exactly is this going to end, I’m all in favour of stopping Igor and his 56 dependants from claiming his mansion, cars and private education at the tax payers expense, however I do feel this is setting a dangerous precedent and is yet another erosion of civil rights.

Surely it would have been more effective to streamline the benefits systems (i.e. do away with tax credits and other bits of jerry mandering) to ensure it can be better policed.

YM
 
#2
This isn't new see HANSARD
23 Apr 2007 : Column 928W

Social Security Benefits: Lie Detectors

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

(1) what recent discussions he has had with disability organisations on the implications of the use of lie detection software for benefit claimants affected by mental health conditions; and if he will make a statement; [132959]

(2) To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the implications of the use of lie detection software for benefit claimants who do not have English as a first language; and if he will make a statement; [132962]

(3) if he will monitor and evaluate the impact on vulnerable benefit claimants of the piloting of lie detection software; and if he will make a statement. [132963]

Mr. Plaskitt: We have had several discussions with disability and other organisations about the plans to test voice risk analysis software as part of wider efforts to improve customer service and reduce fraud. The Department will be considering the impact of this technology on all customers including those who do not have English as a first language and those who are particularly vulnerable.

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what training will be required of operators of lie detection software in benefit authorities. [132960]

Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 20 April 2007]: Voice risk analysis software analyses changes in voice frequency and helps to identify risk. It is not a lie detector. We intend to pilot this software in the London borough of Harrow, and in income support/jobseeker’s allowance claims to test whether it can be used to improve customer service and reduce fraud.

The amount of training operators of voice risk analysis require varies according to their existing skills and knowledge. However, four days of training supported by a period of mentoring is typical.

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he plans to use evidence from lie detection software
(a) to initiate investigation into the validity of benefit claims,
(b) to suspend commencement or payment of benefits and (c) to bring charges for benefit fraud; and if he will make a statement. [132961]

Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 20 April 2007]: Voice risk analysis software analyses changes in voice frequency and helps to identify risk. It is not a lie detector.

We intend to pilot this software in the London borough of Harrow on housing benefit and council tax benefit claims and in IS/JSA claims, to test whether it can be used to improve customer service and reduce benefit fraud. The technology should help indicate which claims can be processed quickly and which may need additional investigation, but it will not replace existing procedures.
Perhaps these "voice risk analysis" measures should be used on MP's to check the validity of their claims for expenses - should save the taxpayer a tidy sum

... wouldn't be much use in the House of Commons though - you'd need a truth detector!

etided fro spellnig!
 
#3
I agree. It is an entirely disproportionate and totalitarian measure aimed at what is (in terms of the national budget) a relatively small scale fraud.

Of course we should take measures to stop/catch/deter benefit cheats, but this is going too far.

Also, while I admit to lack of knowledge as to the working of such equipment, I also wonder how accurate/reliable it is.


On a similar subject, how many MPs would be happy to be wired up to a lie detector when claiming their own benefits?

(P.S. I work full time and do not claim any benefits myself, just in case anyone was wondering!)
 
#4
It doesn't make sense. They can't use the evidence in court because they are not infallible.

What is that? A Gubmint department not thinking it through and spunking our cash on another vanity project so Cecil the Civil Serpent can become SIR Cecil?

Surely not.
 
#5
Heedthebaw said:
It doesn't make sense. They can't use the evidence in court because they are not infallible.
Heedthebaw,

It would be used as "information" not "evidence".

Not that I condone it, unless it is used on all MPs.

I would imagine that there would be a recorded disclaimer similar to ones used for recording telephone calls:

“This conversation could be recorded for training purposes”. Yeh right!
 
#6
Flying Felix said:
Heedthebaw said:
It doesn't make sense. They can't use the evidence in court because they are not infallible.
Heedthebaw,

It would be used as "information" not "evidence".
Which can then be used as justification for some unspecified "appropriate officer" to authorise covert surveilance which can be used in court. Cos the software said so 8O
 
#7
What sounds like a good idea to save public money is undoubtedly going to turn out another of those inordinate wastes of tax payer's money.

If they can't be used for evidential purposes and given that people have the right to either insist on applying for benefits in writing, getting another person to handle their claim for them (parent, benefits advisor, social worker, citizens advice worker, etc) or claimants can barely even speak English then it would appear to be yet another issue blown out of all proportion. Not dissimilar to the millions of CCTV cameras we have viewing our every move, yet making very little impact (apparently) on crime.

There's no real substitute for human intuition or doing your work properly, this sounds like just another method to automate the benefits process and reduce the skill sets required to the level of call centre operators. And we all know how effective that exercise is.
 
#8
Stinks to me of an attempt to do something with limited resources that will be out sourced to some 2 bit contractor who will come in 10 times over budget and not deliver a working system, that once up and running will utilise OOD equipment and software - NHS patient records system springs to mind.

Also smells highly of Big Bruvver (Broon et al, again).

Admittedly I have tried to use the phone system for DWP once or twice previously and having someone on the other end of the phone who understood what I was asking would be better than the vacuous youf (probably student gwant on a summer job) or illegal immigrant from Ghana and I could barely understand either.

The Gobment should save our money and not buy 'puters and software and stuff but train people to do the job correctly.

Edited twice for Eastern European spelling!!!
 
#9
I think my main issue with this approach as with most Neu Arbeit policy is that is does not do anything to address the root cause of the problem.

The fact the benefit system as a whole is just too large and open to abuse.

Quite apart from the fact that its use will then filter into all aspects of our lives as has happened with the so called "anti terror" laws which are starting to be used for routine activities, not that any of this should come as surprise.

YM
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#10
If anyone can point me in the direction of an effective telephone lie detector I would be obliged? Because even the hard wired versions can be spoofed.

This smells to me of PsiOps. "Your call will be recorded for training purposes and subject to a LIE DETECTOR YOU LYING GIT"
 
#11
TheIronDuke said:
If anyone can point me in the direction of an effective telephone lie detector I would be obliged? Because even the hard wired versions can be spoofed.

This smells to me of PsiOps. "Your call will be recorded for training purposes and subject to a LIE DETECTOR YOU LYING GIT"
Skype were offering a free plug in, which looks identical to the one i saw being shown on TV by the benefits people. You can use Skype out and call people on landlines using it.

Worth trying, the price (free) is good although I have little faith in such cr@p

Called KishKish. Can be downloaded here: https://extras.skype.com/577/view
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#12
Interesting.

"KishKish Lie Detector offers you a tool to detect the stress level of the person you talking with over Skype™. With the use of KishKish Lie Detector you can monitor in real-time the stress level of the person you talked with. This allows you to gage the level of stress and modify your questions in real time."

I get stressed talking to a bank call centre in Hyderabad, but it dont mean I am lying.
 
#13
Yeo_Man said:
Quite apart from the fact that its use will then filter into all aspects of our lives as has happened with the so called "anti terror" laws which are starting to be used for routine activities

YM
And there's the crunch. Some people have been warning for years that once precedents are set in the name of "worthwhile" cases (whether "terror", "scroungers", "crime", "bloody immigrants" or whatever) they can and will be turned on the general population sooner or later.

That's not down to the gubmint in power at the time, it's down to human nature - if you're the sort of person who wants power (most politicians by definition) and there's an easy means to exercise it, sooner or later you'll use what's available.

The only way to avoid that is to not make those means available in the first place regardless of the perceived "threat". Unless you want them knocking on your own door in the middle of the night.
 
#14
All this technology is already in place. Barnet council in London have been using it for over a year....

The system is also being used in Birmingham, Chester-le-Street, Coventry, Derwentside, Durham, Edinburgh, Hinckley and Bosworth, Lambeth, Rochford, Sedgefield, Warwick and Wealden.

http://www.silicon.com/publicsector/0,3800010403,39170078,00.htm

Computer says 'No' - lie detectors trap benefit cheats

Voice risk analysis saves council £330k

Tags: benefits, scam, local government, council


By Nick Heath

Published: 18 February 2008 16:19 GMT
Show related
articles

Computer voice analysis is being used to root out benefit cheats - helping to save a council more than £300,000.


The Voice Risk Analysis (VRA) system has helped Harrow Council save £336,711 in benefit pay outs and stop 43 incorrect payments.

The Capita VRA system is being trialled by 12 UK councils and works by detecting stress patterns - such as hesitation or changing of answers - in the voice of callers to indicate whether they might be lying.

Since Harrow began the £63,000 trial in May last year, more than a quarter of claimants said they no longer required benefits as their circumstances had changed - double the rate of previous voluntary admissions.

Only five per cent of people refused to use the VRA system when told of the pilot being run by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The system identified 119 of 998 people assessed (12 per cent), as being at "high risk" of dishonesty - with 43 of those subsequently found to be on incorrectly paid benefits.

The government estimates benefit fraud cost around £700m in the financial year 2006/07, while Harrow Council alone lost £250,000 through fraudulent claims over the same period.

Griselda Colvin, head of benefits at Harrow Council, said: "It is ensuring that we are paying the right people the right benefit entitlement and we are paying them quicker. We have had a huge increase in the number of people coming forward and saying 'my income has gone up' or 'my rent has decreased'. I would say it is the technology and the threat of the system that has given us the results."

Harrow's saving was made up of £284,461 in housing benefit and £52,249 in council tax benefit - the two areas in which the 12-month trial of the technology is being tested.

The system is also being used in Birmingham, Chester-le-Street, Coventry, Derwentside, Durham, Edinburgh, Hinckley and Bosworth, Lambeth, Rochford, Sedgefield, Warwick and Wealden.

It is also being piloted within Lincoln Contact Centre and Jobcentres in the Nottinghamshire district.

A DWP spokesman said: "This technology will actually support customers and has the potential to improve the claims process whilst deterring fraudulent claims. We will be conducting a full evaluation in due course."

A potentially fraudulent benefit claim is not dismissed purely on the grounds of the VRA identifying somebody as "high risk", it is instead used as a trigger to prompt further questioning and investigation by the council's benefit fraud team.
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#15
spunkymonkey said:
The only way to avoid that is to not make those means available in the first place regardless of the perceived "threat". Unless you want them knocking on your own door in the middle of the night.
Two separate issues.

Theres politicos using fear to pass draconian legislation (Patriot Act for the Septics, 42 day detention without trial for us, etc) then theres the technology we use to prevent crime / fraud / terrorism.
 
#16
TheIronDuke said:
spunkymonkey said:
The only way to avoid that is to not make those means available in the first place regardless of the perceived "threat". Unless you want them knocking on your own door in the middle of the night.
Two separate issues.

Theres politicos using fear to pass draconian legislation (Patriot Act for the Septics, 42 day detention without trial for us, etc) then theres the technology we use to prevent crime / fraud / terrorism.
Separate but interlinked, IronDuke. The legislation in itself is dangerous but, when you add a technological infrastructure which is geared to watching and monitoring everything everyone does (in the name of crime / terror prevention), it makes things 1000 times worse.

Can you honestly believe that the French resistance could have operated if Hitler had the monitoring capabilities we have in Britain today?
 
#17
The most expensive fraud in this country takes place in Whitehall and the House of Commons. No lie detectors there?
All for clamping down on beneft fraud, however these things ar e no admissable in Court and therefor of very little value.
Most important of all, this is just another Bog Brother infringement of basic human rights by the Stasi in Whitehall. It's decidedly un bloody British. Its all more than a little bit sinister as far as I am concerned.
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#18
spunkymonkey said:
Can you honestly believe that the French resistance could have operated if Hitler had the monitoring capabilities we have in Britain today?
It would have been hard, as I hope it is hard for the zombies currently trying to spoil our days. It will be harder in the near future when CCTV cameras will be able to identify a flagged individual.

An example? The 7/7 bombers. One of whom was flagged. So he is spotted heading for central London with a bunch of mates. And they are all carrying rucksacks?

I'll watch the law like a hawk. The technology? More power to it.
 
#19
TheIronDuke said:
The technology? More power to it.
Fair enough, if that's your view then debating on here is unlikely to change it. Just remind me to throw that quote back in your face when people start disappearing for showing "anti-liabour" and, therefore, "dangerously anti-social" opinions. :wink:
 
#20
Yes, we are threatened by some dissident groups however I do not feel that applying increasingly draconian measures to the general population is the way to address this issue.

I am not about to don a black shirt, but I do think some members of our multicultural society should put there own house in order and give these lunatics up and allow us all to return to some level of normality.

However as we all suspect it would not suit the current administration in any way shape or form for peace to break out.

After all how could we justify the obscene sums being spent in the name of security ?

Similarly the strain being felt by the benefits system and indeed a significant part of the fabric of our society, from the NHS to housing can be laid squarely at the door of this administration and its incompetent management.

In particular allowing more immigration than the country can support and failing to police the financial community, leading to the current state of affairs.

Ok rant over.

That feels better…….time to find a clean collar and brush the bowler for Sunday morning.

YM
 

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