FCC Affirms Robocall Blocking By Default to Protect Consumers
June 7, 2019
The FCC voted to confirm that voice service providers may aggressively block unwanted robocalls before they reach consumers. The Commission stated: "While many phone companies now offer their customers call blocking tools on an opt-in basis, the Declaratory Ruling clarifies that they can provide them as the default, thus allowing them to protect more consumers from unwanted robocalls and making it more cost-effective to implement call blocking programs." EPIC has long advocated for robust telephone privacy protections. Last week, EPIC submitted comments to the FCC recommending that the agency (1) require phone providers to proactively block calls from numbers that are unassigned, unallocated, or invalid; (2) prohibit spoofing if there is an intent to defraud or cause harm; and (3) encourage the use of call authentication technology that safeguards caller anonymity. EPIC filed amicus briefs earlier this year and in 2015 that strengthened consumer protections for robocalls.