A quartet of Senate Democrats are calling on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to “take action” and protect consumers from voice cloning technology that may be used to fraudulently access consumers’ finances and bank accounts.
The Senators — Sen. Sherrod Brown [D-Ohio], the Chair of the Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Bob Menendez [D-N.J.], Sen. Jack Reed [D-R.I.], and Sen. Tina Smith [D-Minn.], want the CFPB to enact some form of regulation because “[t]he risks posed by voice cloning in the realm of financial scams demand immediate attention and action,” they wrote to Rohit Chopra, the Director of the CFPB.
The letter to the CFPB follows a similar letter that the Senators sent back in May to the chief executive officers of six major banks, asking them to provide information as to how they are protecting consumers from scams generated by artificial intelligence. “In comparing the responses received, it became clear that financial institutions do not have a uniform and robust approach to detecting and preventing AI-driven threats, leaving consumers vulnerable to harm,” the Senators wrote to Chopra.
Voice cloning — where technology is used to reproduce an individual’s voice with pretty good accuracy — can be used in a number of different ways to scam unsuspecting consumers out of their money, the letter notes. “Hearing trusted voices amplifies the risks of consumers falling victim to scams,” they state in the letter.
“The risks posed by voice cloning in the realm of financial scams demand immediate attention and action. To effectively address this emerging threat, we respectfully request that the CFPB review the risks posed by this new technology as soon as practicable and take action under the CFPB’s existing authorities to protect consumers.”