, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 93-107
Date: 11 May 2011

Does the Use of Voice Lie Detection Equipment in the United Kingdom Breach Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Equality Act 2010?

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Abstract

Separating truth from lies has long been the goal of the legal system. Unfortunately, determining what is true is as difficult as it is important. Despite the view held by most people that they are able to tell when being lied to, the reality is that humans are very poor lie detectors. In an effort to overcome this fundamental flaw in human abilities, we have turned to technology to fill the gap. One of the many available technologies relies on the computer analysis of the voice of the statement maker. This technique is said by some to be able to highlight features in the voice of the speaker which indicate a high risk that they are not telling the truth. Whether or not the technology works, and the legal and ethical implications of such a finding, are beyond the scope of this paper. Rather, this paper assumes that the system achieves its stated aim, and examines the implications of the use of such devices on the public in terms of Human Rights and the provisions of the Equality Act 2010.