Google partners with Apple, AT&T and more to combat robocalls

FCC AT&T

Randall Stephenson, chairman of AT&T, is announcing a consortium of 33 companies, which include Google, Apple, AT&T and Comcast, that are joining the FCC to crack down on robocalls.

Robocall Strike Force

Right now, the plan is to have these companies work on various solutions and come up with a plan by October 19. So far it’s unknown as to what kinds of plans are being tested, but Google has already begun spam blocking with the Google Phone app.

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FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told Reuters, “This scourge must stop…the bad guys are beating the good guys with technology…”, while Stephenson said, “This is going to require more than individual company initiatives and one-off blocking apps. Robocallers are a formidable adversary, notoriously hard to stop.”

This issue is going to require concentrated effort among technology companies. Like email spam, combatting robocalls will turn into a cat-and-mouse game. Right now the main plan seems to be the implementation of Caller ID standards and a “Do Not Originate” list than can stop phone spoofers from impersonating the phone numbers of governments, banks and others.