Apple joins government task force to kill robocalls


Suspected robber fatally shot while attempting to rob Apple Store
Apple is teaming up with top tech companies to end the scourge of robocalls.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

The scourge of robocalls may be coming to an end, thanks to a new task force comprised of over 30 top tech companies, including Apple.

The U.S. government has enlisted the help of Apple, AT&T, Alphabet, Verizon, Comcast and others to crack down on unsolicited, automated, prerecorded phone calls that have become the most frequent complaint the U.S. Federal Communications Commission receives from citizens.

As part of the newly formed “Robocall Strike Force,” Apple and other members held their first meeting with the FCC this Friday and with AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson chairing the group.

“This is going to require more than individual company initiatives and one-off blocking apps,” Stephenson told Reuters. “Robocallers are a formidable adversary, notoriously hard to stop.”

FCC president Tom Wheeler said the issue of robocalls still plagues citizens largely due to industry inaction. Phone providers in the U.S. are not required to offer robocall blocking services, however, the FCC has recommend companies add them.

The strike force is set to reply to the FCC on October 19 with concrete plans to accelerate the elimination of robocalls. Other companies in the strike force include Samsung, Microsoft, Nokia, Blackberry, Qualcomm, T-Mobile and LG.