TalkTalk customers can now talk their way into their accounts using voice biometrics

Billy Bambrough
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Computer Hackers Hold Telecommunications Company To Ransom
TalkTalk is still recovering from a massive hack last year that compromised hundreds of thousands of customers personal details (Source: Getty)

TalkTalk customers can now access their accounts through voice recognition, just months after the telecoms company lost hundreds of thousands of customer's personal details in a massive hack.

Customers calling the company will be asked to speak a phrase instead of entering a password or PIN. The first time a customer calls TalkTalk they will be asked to repeat a phrase three times so the software can build a pattern of their voice.

The biometric technology recognises the characteristics of the callers voice to confirm their identity. The company claims the technology can analyse over a hundred unique characteristics of a voice including the shape of larynx, vocal tract and nasal passage, alongside pronunciation, emphasis and speed of their speech.

TalkTalk says use of the technology will mean "customer data is as secure as possible" and will "reduce the amount of sensitive personal information customers will have to disclose".

TalkTalk came under fire in November last year when it disclosed a hack attack that compromised 157,000 customers bank account and credit card details.

The company has lost over 100,000 subscribers since the incident and estimates it cost £60m.

Cyber attacks on companies for stored information on customers are on the rise, with 2016 set to be a record year for hacks and ransoms paid by companies to recover stolen data.

TalkTalk claims it is the first telecoms operator to introduce the service, though some banks in the UK have already begun to use it.

Biometrics have been touted for years as the next big step in security though features have only just begun to materialise.

Barclays Bank has recently introduced a fingerprint reader that its private banking customers can use at home.

There are also various trials going on with facial recognition technology that has promted some retailers to introduce so-called selfie payments.

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