The FTC and FCC are seeking exhibitors for their joint Stop Illegal Robocalls Expo, which will be held Monday, April 23, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. to noon in the FCC’s Pepco Edison Place Gallery at 702 8th St. NW, Washington, DC.
Unwanted calls — including illegal robocalls, spoofed calls, and telemarketing — are a major source of complaints to both the FTC and FCC. If you are like me, you get these annoying telephone calls pushing a variety of services and products. The calls will come from what appears to be a local telephone number, and then when you answer you are directed somewhere else in hopes you will purchase a time share or whatever they are peddling. Being on the Do Not Call list seems to be completely ineffective.
Under Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the agencies have combated this problem through various policy-making efforts and strong enforcement actions. Of course, at the end of the day it falls onto innovators with technical solutions.
“Consumers are fed up with illegal robocalls that disturb their privacy and often pitch scams,” said Acting FTC Chairman Ohlhausen. “We’re going to expand our fight against this scourge through initiatives like the upcoming Technology Expo and Policy Forum, which amplify our impact through close coordination with the FCC and other partners.”
“Scam robocalls and deceptive spoofing are real threats to American consumers, and they are the number one consumer complaint at the FCC,” said FCC Chairman Pai. “We’re committed to confronting this problem using every tool we have. I’m pleased to announce these efforts in our continued work with the FTC to protect consumers.”
Perhaps Ohlhausen and Pai should loop in Andrei Iancu, the newly sworn in Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It is wonderful that the FTC and FCC are looking for technology solutions to combat the ever increasing problem of Robocalls, but coming up with a technology solution as seems to be desired by the FTC and FCC will be all the more difficult in a world where the USPTO and federal courts are openly hostile to software related innovations.
In any event, on March 23, the FTC and FCC will co-host a Policy Forum at FCC headquarters to discuss the regulatory challenges posed by illegal robocalls and what the FTC and FCC are doing to both protect consumers and encourage the development of private-sector solutions. The live video feed and other information related to this event will be available at: www.fcc.gov/news-events/
Then on April 23, the FTC and FCC will also co-host a Technology Expo for consumers at the Pepco Edison Place Gallery in Washington, D.C. This event will feature technologies, devices, and applications to minimize or eliminate the illegal robocalls consumers receive. More information on this Expo, including how innovators can participate, is available at: www.fcc.gov/news-events/