|Voice-print technology monitors inmates’ calls in Florida|
GAINESVILLE — A sophisticated voice-identity technology that monitors inmates on prison telephones has been installed in at least 23 Florida counties and has been used to bring criminal charges against inmates in at least one of them, a Fresh Take Florida investigation found.
The technology produced by a secretive, Dallas-based company is designed to make and store voice prints of inmates and to ensure they are using prison phones under their own identities, rather than secretly making calls using the IDs of other inmates.
Inmates throughout Florida are compelled to agree to monitoring by the software developed by Securus Technologies, called Investigator Pro, or they risk losing or limiting their phone privileges. But there are unanswered public policy questions about the technology: What happens to the voice records of defendants who are acquitted or whose criminal charges are dropped? What happens to voice records of innocent civilians whom inmates call from jails? What restrictions exist in using those voice records for other purposes, by governments or private corporations? What happens if the software mistakes someone’s voice for another’s?
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