Public and private agencies are using a “truth verification” device that has been discredited by numerous authorities as a tool to screen hundreds of job applicants in B.C. The tests are being administered by ITV Consulting Inc., a Victoria firm that licenses the Canadian rights to the Computerized Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA) from a U.S. company. As stated on ITV’s website, the device “measures small frequency modulations in the voice. These inaudible variations, when detected, measured and displayed, accurately determine the truthfulness of each statement elicited from a test subject.”
ITV claims the device can definitively tell whether a person is lying: “The finished session is evaluated by the computer, rendering its findings of ‘deception’ or ‘no deception,’ removing any possibility of examiner error, as well as providing a completely objective examination,” it states on its website. The firm recommends the device be used in conjunction with “the expert interrogation techniques used and taught by ITV.” “Used in this manner, clinical studies show the accuracy score of our product to be 98 per cent with no inconclusives,” it states.
This is an impressive statement. If true, the CVSA is the holy grail of lie detectors. However, there is little scientific evidence to support this claim, and much to repudiate it.