The firms are targeting the scourge of robocalls.
Watch out, robocallers: the biggest tech companies in the world have put a big target on your back. More than 30 major technology and communication companies have announced that they are teaming up with the U.S. government to crack down on automated, prerecorded phoen calls known as “robocalls.”
AT&T, Google, Apple, Verizon, Comcast and many others have signed up to be members of the “Robocall Strike Force,” which held its first meeting with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, according to a Reuters report.
In October, the strike force will report to the FCC on plans to stop robocalls using new tools and solutions. The strike force sees Caller ID verification standards as a critical tool to block calls from spoofed phone numbers.
“This scourge must stop,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said on Friday according to the Reuters report, calling robocalls the No. 1 complaint from consumers. “The bad guys are beating the good guys with technology,” Wheeler said.
“Robocalls and telemarketing calls are currently the number one source of consumer complaints at the FCC,” Wheeler further said in a statement. “The Commission is committed to protecting consumers from unwanted calls and giving them more control over the calls and texts they receive. We will tackle robocalls on as many fronts as possible, whether by implementing new rules, issuing tailored declaratory judgments, encouraging new pro-consumer innovation or urging the private sector to step up and stop this scourge.
“Today, consumers have protections from unwanted calls,” the statement continues. “For example, the FCC requires private robocallers to have prior consent to robocall or robotext your cell phone. Further, consumers can register their numbers with the FTC’s Do Not Call list, which requires legitimate telemarketers to stop calling you. In addition, the FCC expects that phone companies will respond to consumer requests to block robocalls.”