HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has been accused of breaching data protection laws by collecting and storing more than 5m records of taxpayers’ voices without their permission through its telephone services.

When users call HMRC they are requested to repeat the phrase “My voice is my password” on an automated line as a security precaution before they can access tax services.

Data watchdog Big Brother Watch says that because callers are not allowed to opt out of the phrase or to delete their recording, HMRC are breaching data protection laws.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is now investigating this issue.