Apple to Join 'Robocall Strike Force' to Crack Down on Automated Phone Calls

Wall-EApple, AT&T, Google, and 30 other companies will join efforts with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission this year to crack down on automated phone calls, otherwise known as "robocalls," according to Reuters.

AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson will make the announcement at the first "Robocall Strike Force" meeting at the FCC later on Friday, the company said.

The so-called "Robocall Strike Force" will provide the FCC with "concrete plans to accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and solutions" to crack down on automated phone calls by October 19, the report claims.

Last month, the FCC sent a letter to phone companies and intermediaries, presumably including Apple, expressing how robocalls and telemarketing calls are the number one source of consumer complaints it receives. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler urged the companies to respond within 30 days with concrete, actionable solutions to tackle the problem, and AT&T was quick to agree that action is needed.

AT&T is prepared to take a leadership position in the industry in the development of comprehensive solutions. We currently allow many of our customers to block calls using black-listing software like Nomorobo and we are committed to providing our customers with the best blocking tools available for use with their knowledge and consent. […]

For these reasons, and at the request of Chairman Wheeler, Mr. Stephenson has agreed to chair a new Robocalling Strike Force, the mission of which will be to accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and solutions to abate the proliferation of robocalls and to make recommendations to the FCC on the role government can play in this battle.

The U.S. has some protective measures in place to prevent automated phone calls. The FCC, for example, requires private companies to have prior consent to robocall or robotext mobile phones. Americans can also add their phone numbers to the FTC's Do Not Call list to prevent legitimate telemarketers from calling. Last, the FCC expects carriers to respond to consumer requests to block robocalls.

The strike force will push for further solutions, such as developing secure Caller-ID authentication technology, supporting the Anti-Spoofing Act of 2015 in U.S Congress, and implementing new technologies to identify and block robocalls. Apple's involvement in the strike force remains unclear, but iOS 10 will include at least one combative measure: a new caller ID extension for spam alerts.

Tags: FCC, AT&T

Top Rated Comments

iStig Avatar
61 months ago
I don't see why Wall-e, who is by all accounts a kind and generous robot, need be dragged into this.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
peterh988 Avatar
61 months ago
Start by giving me a way to filter 'no caller ID' calls, just a simple option that diverts the caller to a "This person has chosen not to receive cals from withheld numbers" message, or something along those lines. Or allow me to block no caller ID.

I just don't want to bother with people who don't want me to know who they are.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Derekuda Avatar
61 months ago
LOL, knowing how ATT operates, they are probably the ones planting the robocalls. Now they will try and sell you a $5 a month app to "block" these calls. :D

Also, why use a picture of lovable Wally!? He's a Disney icon and one of my favorite Disney characters. :oops:
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PowerBook-G5 Avatar
61 months ago
Hello. This is IRS. This is your final notice before the IRS will arrest you for tax fraud. Call back at 555-555-5555 to settle your issues with IRS.
I'd love for these calls to stop. I just got three yesterday alone!
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iamgalt Avatar
61 months ago
Americans can also add their phone numbers to the FTC's Do Not Call list to prevent legitimate telemarketers from calling.
The Do Not Call list is the most epic of epic fails. Hopefully, this new strike force will do better (they really can't do any worse).
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DeftwillP Avatar
61 months ago
They spoof phone numbers a lot, so that's less effective than you think.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caller_ID_spoofing
This bigtime. I get a ton of spam calls from local cellphone numbers. You can even ignore the call and then call the number back to get a random person in your area on their cell phone that has no idea what you're yelling at them about.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Top Stories 57 Feature

Top Stories: Apple Event Next Tuesday, Mini-LED iPad Pro, iPhone Rumors

Saturday April 17, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
It feels like we've been waiting forever for new Apple products, but the wait is almost over as Apple has announced a media event for next Tuesday, so make sure to tune into MacRumors for full coverage of everything Apple announces. While that was the big news this week, we also got some new details on Apple's iPhone plans for 2022 and 2023 courtesy of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and we also saw...
flat imac 3d 3 teal

Reliable Leaker Hints Redesigned Colorful iMac to Debut at 'Spring Loaded' Event

Saturday April 17, 2021 4:43 am PDT by
Reliable leaker known as l0vetodream has hinted that Apple may debut its rumored redesigned and colorful iMac at its "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20. In a tweet, the leaker posted an image of Apple's logo used for marketing the upcoming event and an image of the retro rainbow Apple logo alongside the colorful lineup of G3 iMacs. Apple leaker Jon Prosser previously reported that...
third gen Apple pencil leaked video

Video of Alleged Third-Generation Apple Pencil Leaks Ahead of Apple Event

Friday April 16, 2021 6:13 am PDT by
A video purporting to be of the third-generation Apple Pencil has today been shared online, showing a glossy finish that mirrors previous leaks. New ✏️ ready to 🚢 #AppleEvent @TommyBo50387266 pic.twitter.com/s4RCDwDi5M— 漢尼斯·拉斯納 🇨🇳 (@ileakeer) April 16, 2021 The brief video from Twitter account @ileakeer, spotted by 9to5Mac, shows an Apple Pencil with a glossy finish much like the...
important battery message iphone 11

Some iPhone 11 Users Seeing Increased Battery Health Percentages After iOS 14.5 Recalibration Process

Friday April 16, 2021 6:32 am PDT by
In the sixth beta of iOS 14.5, Apple introduced a recalibration process for the battery health reporting system on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max to address inaccurate battery health estimates for some users. Apple said this process might take a few weeks to be completed, and now that two weeks have passed since the sixth beta of iOS 14.5 was released, some users are...
duan rui iphone 12 13 notch

New Images Show Smaller iPhone 13 Notch Compared to iPhone 12

Saturday April 17, 2021 11:38 pm PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has shared more images that could give us our best look yet at Apple's redesigned notch for the iPhone 13. The new pictures follow similar images shared by the leaker last week, but the latest shots include a comparison with the existing iPhone 12 notch. DuanRui posted three images on Twitter that apparently originate from Weibo, although source details remain...
iphone 13 pro max cads eap

iPhone 13 Series CAD Leaks Reveal Larger Camera Dimensions

Friday April 16, 2021 1:53 am PDT by
Information and alleged CADs of the upcoming iPhone 13 series, shared in a video from EverythingApplePro, indicates that Apple plans to make this year's iPhone camera module significantly bigger, likely to make way for larger sensors and sensor-shift stabilization. According to the CADs shared in the video, the iPhone 13 mini, Pro, and Pro Max camera module will all be a "perfect square."...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Anker's MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack

Thursday April 15, 2021 9:39 am PDT by
Anker, a company known for its range of accessories designed for Apple products, recently came out with one of the first MagSafe-compatible battery packs, so we thought we'd check it out to see how it compares to a standard battery pack. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, Anker's power bank looks like a typical battery pack, but it has magnets built in...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

LTPO Displays Supporting 120Hz Refresh Rates Again Rumored for iPhone 13 Pro Models

Friday April 16, 2021 10:01 am PDT by
The two higher-end "iPhone 13 Pro" models that are coming in 2021 are expected to use LTPO display technology to enable 120Hz refresh rates, according to display analyst Ross Young. Young reaffirmed the detail in a tweet that said he'd heard rumors about only one model featuring LTPO, which he says is inaccurate. Heard some rumors in the industry and media that there would only be one ...
apple music

Apple Music Tops Spotify With One Cent Paid Per Stream

Friday April 16, 2021 6:44 am PDT by
In a letter slated to be shared with artists today through the Apple Music for Artists dashboard, obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Apple has reportedly revealed that it pays music rights holders one cent per song streamed on Apple Music. The report claims that Apple Music's payment structure is thus roughly double what Spotify pays music rights holders per stream, which averages to about ...