The House of Representatives today took a major step toward cracking down on illegal robocalls by approving a new act aimed at boosting anti-robocalling technology.
The new act would require that all carriers implement caller identify verification technology without charging users any additional fees. Robocalls are spammy phone calls that take advantage of a computerized autodialer to deliver a pre-recorded marketing message.
The Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, as it’s called, seeks to put an end to these unwarned calls by extending the FCC’s authority to impose penalties against the entities that send spam calls. The Congress could send a bill to the White House before 2020.
The Hill reports:
The legislation requires telephone carriers to implement technology that verifies caller identity without charging customers an extra fee, while extending the FCC’s authority to impose penalties against the entities that send spam calls. The measure would give the FCC more time to investigate and punish illegal robocallers, require the agency to pare down the list of companies that are allowed to use robocalling services and raise the penalty for illegal robocallers to $10,000 per violation from $1,500.
The $10,000 penalty is laughable, it’s cost of doing business for shady companies that are behind these nuisance calls. If the fee were $100,000 or more, it’d dissuade these companies from spamming people with robocalls. But at $10,000 per violation, I don’t see robocalls going away anytime soon. The Stopping Bad Robocalls Act is similar to the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act that the Senate passed earlier this year.
In August 2016, major Silicon Valley giants, including Apple and Google, joined forces with the United States Federal Communications Commission to crack down on automated phone calls. Earlier this month, carrier AT&T said it would start automatically blocking robocalls and other fraudulent calls automatically on behalf o its customers alter this year.
In iOS 13, Apple introduced new features allowing iPhone users to have calls from unknown entities automatically silenced as yet another way of cutting down on the amount of robocalls and other unwanted calls. According to some estimates, there are more than 48 billion robocalls in the US last year, up almost 50 percent from the previous year.
What’s your experience with robocalls And why, do you think, have legislators inexplicably failed to pass anti-robocalling bills for several years now?
Share your thoughts with fellow readers in the commenting section down below!