New $100 million System may help Against Robocalls
Starting next year, phone companies such as Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile expect to be the first in the nation to activate a new national authentication system that could eventually reduce the number of unwanted robocalls. The system is estimated to cost $100 million and it is designed to stop fraudulent and unsolicited calls that have been plaguing many people. Other service providers, including Sprint, are eventually expected to follow suit. Jim McEachern, a senior technology consultant with the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions, the trade group that led the effort, stated the following:
It won’t be a panacea. But it’s a really important tool that will make a difference over time.
The new system is called Secure Telephony Identity Revisited and Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENS, aka STIR/SHAKEN. According to YouMail, a robocall blocking service that collects and analyzes data, Americans received 148.8 million intrusive automated messages per day in August alone. It is estimated that nearly 90 percent of U.S. phones, which includes all mobile phones and about half the nation’s land lines, will be covered in two to five years under this system that’s been in the works for about three years. The system will use encrypted digital certificates for each call and a rating system will essentially identify calls as good, questionable or likely fraudulent. We will have to wait and see how effective the system is when it becomes available to more people.