Apple is teaming up with other tech firms – including AT&T and Google – to work with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to form a so-called “Robocall Strike Force” in order to crack down on automated phone call solicitations.
Reuters reports the taskforce will hold its first meeting at FCC on Friday. The strike force will report to the commission by Oct. 19 on “concrete plans to accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and solutions,” said AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson, who is chairing the group.
Last month, the FCC contacted a number of phone companies, and other tech firms, expressing concern over how robocalls and other telemarketing calls rank as the number one complaint they receive from consumers. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler urged the companies to respond within 30 days with solutions to alleviate the problem.
AT&T was quick to agree, and volunteered to take a leadership position in the Robocall Strike Force, to spearhead the development of comprehensive solutions. AT&T CEO Stephenson agreed to chair the team.
While the U.S. already has some protective measures in place to help battle automated and other types of sales calls – such as the FTC’s Do Not Call List – more needs to be done to crack down on companies that ignore such lists. The Robocall Strike Force is expected to offer new solutions, such as developing secure Caller ID technology, supporting the Anti-Spoofing Act of 2015 in U.S Congress, and implementing new technologies to identify and block robocalls.
While Apple’s involvement in the task force hasn’t been established, their new iOS 10 operating system, due to be released to the public this fall, includes a new caller ID extension that can be used to screen phone calls for spam.