The FCC has set a deadline for phone carriers to support the STIR/SHAKEN protocol, in an effort to fight robocalls.
The STIR/SHAKEN protocol helps combat number spoofing, a favorite tactic of robocallers, whereby they make their number appear as though it is in the same exchange or area code as the recipient. When a call is placed, the carrier uses the protocol to confirm the authenticity of the call. If the call is placed to a number on another network, the carrier passes that verification on to the next carrier, who performs their own verification. Ultimately, when the receiving phone receives the call, if the number is verified, it will display that in the caller ID.
The FCC had previously asked carriers to implement the protocol, but Chairman Ajit Pai was not happy with the level of adoption. As a result, the FCC has adopted new rules requiring carriers to implement the protocol no later than June 30, 2021.
“The FCC estimates that the benefits of eliminating the wasted time and nuisance caused by illegal scam robocalls will exceed $3 billion annually, and STIR/SHAKEN is an important part of realizing those cost savings,” reads the press release. “Additionally, when paired with call analytics, STIR/SHAKEN will help protect American consumers from fraudulent robocall schemes that cost Americans approximately $10 billion annually. Improved caller ID authentication will also benefit public safety by reducing spoofed robocalls that disrupt healthcare and emergency communications systems. Further, implementation of STIR/SHAKEN will restore consumer trust in caller ID information and encourage consumers to answer the phone, to the benefit of consumers, businesses, healthcare providers, and non-profit organizations.”
This is good news for everyone sick of being on the receiving end of robocalls and scam attempts.