Business, Economics and Jobs

Russian bank to test lie-detector ATMs


Russian President Dmitry Medvedev looks at Sberbank card terminal in Moscow, on February 28, 2011.


Mikhail Klimentyev

A Russian bank is set to test an A.T.M. that interrogates customers applying for a credit card and uses a built-in lie detector intended to prevent fraud.

The machine reportedly assesses the user's honesty by their verbal vibrations to help assess whether the person is truthfully answering questions that include “Are you employed?” and “At this moment, do you have any other outstanding loans?" The New York Times reports

It can also scan the future customer's passport, record fingerprints and even take a 3D scan of their head, for facial recognition, according to the Times.

The same company that developed technology for the F.S.B. (Federal Security Service) — descended from the Soviet K.G.B. — Speech Technology Center, created the voice-analysis system for Sberbank, which is majority owned by the Russian government.

It was "designed in part by sampling Russian law enforcement databases of recorded voices of people found to be lying during police interrogations," the Times wrote.

The lie-detector ATM will be placed in malls and bank branches and would remove the requirement for human intervention on the bank’s end.

Sberbank's Vice President defended the A.T.M., telling the Times that they "are not violating a client's privacy. We are not climbing into the client's brain. We aren't invading their personal lives. We are just trying to find out if they are telling the truth. I don't see any reason to be alarmed."