World

In fight against fraud, Chase, Wells Fargo are quietly harvesting some callers' voiceprints

  • FILE - In this April 13, 2010 file photo, pedestrian traffic moves past A Chase branch in New York. Chase and Wells Fargo, two of America's biggest retail banks, are quietly taking some callers’ voiceprints to fight fraud, an Associated Press investigation has found.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

    FILE - In this April 13, 2010 file photo, pedestrian traffic moves past A Chase branch in New York. Chase and Wells Fargo, two of America's biggest retail banks, are quietly taking some callers’ voiceprints to fight fraud, an Associated Press investigation has found. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, file photo, a man walks past a Wells Fargo branch in Philadelphia. Wells Fargo and Chase, two of America's biggest retail banks, are quietly taking some callers’ voiceprints to fight fraud, an Associated Press investigation has found. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

    FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, file photo, a man walks past a Wells Fargo branch in Philadelphia. Wells Fargo and Chase, two of America's biggest retail banks, are quietly taking some callers’ voiceprints to fight fraud, an Associated Press investigation has found. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Chart shows organizations with some of the largest approximate number of voiceprints; 6c x 3 inches; 295.2 mm x 76 mm;

    Chart shows organizations with some of the largest approximate number of voiceprints; 6c x 3 inches; 295.2 mm x 76 mm;  (The Associated Press)

An Associated Press investigation has found that two of America's biggest retail banks — Chase and Wells Fargo — are quietly using some callers' voiceprints to fight fraud.

Privacy advocates and legal experts question the practice. Customers who call bank support numbers are often informed that their calls may be monitored or recorded, but aren't asked to give their consent for biometric analysis.

Fraud blacklists are among the growing everyday uses of speaker recognition, once a high-tech tool used by security agencies. Many governments and businesses use voiceprinting.

A recent Associated Press survey of the market found that more than 65 million people worldwide have had their voiceprints taken.