Few things are more irritating than robocalls (automated, pre-recorded calls), and with the presidential race kicking into high gear the problem is likely to get worse. Now 33 telecom and tech companies have committed to put together concrete plans with the Federal Communications Commission to track and stop illegal robocallers, which are usually telemarketers or scammers. The companies and regulator are holding their first meetings today.
The Robocall Strikeforce, as the group is called, will create caller ID tech that can detect when robocallers are using the phone numbers of other people or businesses as the origin of their calls. It will create a “Do Not Originate” list of suspected phone numbers, and block calls from them. Companies like Apple and Alphabet may be able to implement software at the device level to stop the calls.
FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said robocalls are phone customers’ number one complaint, and that the problem has persisted largely “because of industry inaction.”