29 Jul Telecom Industry Ending Robocalls
One of the facts of everyday life is that we will always receive telephone calls and spam e-mails from companies wanting to sell us their products and services. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that. However, when it becomes an annoyance and happens on repeated occasions, it can be a huge problem. Thank goodness for technology. Due to technology, we can easily send solicitation emails directly to our spam folder and we can even divert those pesky phone calls by adding our phone numbers to the “Do Not Call List,” which is directly supported by the Federal Government.
Now, even telecom and cable industries are taking proactive steps in preventing what are known as Automated Telemarketing Calls, also known as “robocalls.” To that end, the major carriers (AT&T, Century Link, and Verizon) are teaming up with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the state’s attorneys of 45 states in order to develop new strategies in averting robocalls.
Initially, the telecom companies were hesitant about putting in place the pieces of technology needed to block these unwanted calls. Their fears were that doing so might be deemed to be illegal. However, the FCC just recently gave the clearance to these vendors to actually deploy these types of protective measures, claiming that it would not violate federal law.
Some of these various technologies include the use of telephone number screening products as well as the use of Privacy IDs. Just in 2014 alone, the FCC received well over 215,000 consumer complaints about robocalls. In order to circumvent the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (which explicitly forbids the use of robocalls), many enterprises have been able to utilize a technology known as “ID-Spoofing,” which allows a business to mask their identity by utilizing fake phone numbers.
In fact, robocalls can be used to launch identity theft campaigns against unsuspecting consumers. In response to these grave threats, the FCC has given blanket enforcement capabilities to the telecom vendors. According to Eric Schneiderman, New York Attorney General, “Every year, our offices are flooded with consumer complaints pleading for a solution to stop intrusive robocalls . . . your organizations are now poised to offer your customers the help they need.” (SOURCE: https://www.fiercetelecom.com/telecom/at-t-centurylink-verizon-implement-tools-to-battle-robocalls).
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