Apple and Google join ‘strike force’ to crack down on robocalls

From The Verge:

Apple and Google parent company Alphabet have joined a coalition of more than 30 tech companies and telecoms focused on combating automated phone calls, according to Reuters. Called the “Robocall Strike Force,” the group is led by the Federal Communications Commission, which held its first hearing on the subject today in Washington, DC. Robocalls include both prerecorded messages from misleading phone numbers and automated text messages.

The FCC is turning to companies like Apple, Alphabet, AT&T, and Verizon because it’s seeking a solution to prevent telemarketers and even big corporations from harassing consumers with prerecorded messages. “We know there is a problem. We know how much consumers dislike these calls,” said FCC Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn. “We know the public is frustrated, because they assumed that after they registered for the ‘Do Not Call’ list, this would stop. It did not, so now it is time to take some real action.”

The strike force is expected to report to the FCC by October 19th with “concrete plans to accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and solutions,” said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, who is the chairman of the coalition. These solutions could come in the form of Caller ID verification standards that could block spoofed phone numbers, as well as a list of numbers from government agencies and banks that telemarketers would not be able to spoof.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler calls robocalls a “scourge”

Speaking today at the meeting, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler called robocalls a “scourge.” In fact, the FCC says complaints filed under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) accounted for more than half of the 175,000 tickets filed at the FCC’s help center in the first six months of 2016.

The FCC first began addressing the problem from a technical end …

Continue Reading