UK Gov deploys lie detectors on benefits claims
Voice risk analysis
Benefits claimants will now have to face a software lie detector test under a new regime to be outlined today by Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton.
Hutton says the system is designed to speed up the claims process for "the honest majority", and weed out the cheats.
The software will analyse a caller's voice for signs of stress, or any other tiny changes that might indicate he or she is lying. The system establishes a baseline early on in the call, and looks for changes measured against it.
Anyone flagged by the software will then have to provide more evidence to support their claim for benefit.
The system is to be piloted by Harrow Council on applicants for housing benefits and council tax relief from May this year.
The plans sound very similar to those outlined in 2005 by then Work and Pensions Secretary David Blunkett.
The BBC reports that benefit fraud cost around £700m in the 2005/06 financial year. ®
Why not Sylvia Browne too?
VSA was initially marketed on the claim it was 'better' than the conventional polygraph. Hmm, 10 times 0 = 0.
The polygraph worked not as a lie detector but as a liar intimidator. If the suspect believes the machine works, he is more likely to confess without ever being hooked up. There is also the little matter of of being asked and required to answer questions that in a normal police interview would not be permitted by legal counsel. It's all about the intimidation factor.
So along comes VSA which measures even less than the polygraph - but essentially the same thing - and through the power of the beliefs of the purchaser, can uncover remotely what the polygraph could not under any circumstance.
Both are worse than useless,both have cult-like followings, and both remind me of some of the magic tech I have seen debunked on James Randi's site.
New form of harrassment of benefit claiments
So they plan to use polygraph systems to check benefit claims including disability and housing. This is surely another form of harrasment of the most needy amongst us and should be stopped now before it goes ahead at the trial stage.
As discredited as they are these polygraph systems must be removed from use like this. It takes an expert to interprete the results and then its a very low level of success. A general assessment by a computer does not in anyway consider circumstances both physical and mental.
Lets do away with the polygraph systems now and anyway they can not be used in law in England and Wales anyway.
Pass me a drawing pin....
Any 'Drawing pin under your big toe' gen?
Deliberately induce stress on the control questions and your away!
It is far to easy to cheat the software, this will just harass genuine claimants who are of a nervous disposition or are embarrassed at having to claim.