FCC to vote on robocall rules

FCC to vote on robocall rules

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is proposing bold action to help consumers block unwanted robocalls. Allowing default call blocking by voice providers could significantly increase development and consumer adoption of such tools.

Consumers would be allowed to block any callers that are not included in their list of contacts. This blocking could be based on analytics and consumer “white lists.” Similar analytics are now used by third-party developers in call blocking apps. That means customers could tell phone companies that any number not on their list be automatically blocked.

"Allowing call blocking by default could be a big benefit for consumers who are sick and exhausted of robocalls".

Reuters reports the us telecommunications regulator is expected to approve Pai's proposal at its June 6 meeting.

In May 2018, Pai called on companies to adopt an industry-developed "call authentication system" for the cryptographic signing of telephone calls aimed at ending the use of illegitimate spoofed numbers from the telephone system.

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This year, between 60 and 75 billion robocalls are expected to be made, up from almost 48 billion last year.

In its analysis, Hiya found that people received an average of about 10 spam calls per month. One proposal in the Senate would grant the government more power to pursue robocall fraudsters, while another set of proposals in the House would take additional aim at legitimate businesses, such as debt collectors, that ring smartphone owners excessively. Those three carriers already offer some spam and robocall blocking services to customers. New call blocking technology will be able to trace the call's origin.

There would not be legal liability for companies that employ the "shaken/stir" technology to block calls that have "not been authenticated under the framework", according to Pai. For example, some people want to receive automated payment reminders from credit card companies, whereas others might prefer to block such calls. It's unclear how well calls like that would be kept away from consumers under the new proposal, she said.

We've all been there by now: Phone numbers similar to your own call you multiple times a day, only to reveal themselves as scam operations.

New measures by US regulators could help thwart some of the billions of robocalls received in the U.S. Pai, a Republican, says he hopes it will give consumers the "peace of mind that they deserve".

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