FTC Robocall Challenge Garners More Than 700 Submissions

Prizes include $50,000 to Block Illegal Robocalls

For Release

The Federal Trade Commission wrapped up a three-month submission period for the FTC Robocall Challenge, which seeks the best technical solution to block illegal sales robocalls on landlines and mobile phones. The FTC received 798 eligible submissions before the Challenge closed Jan. 17, 2013.

Judging begins next week. A brief description of each entry is available in the Challenge submission gallery. The technical proposals are only available to Challenge administrators and judges. Steve Bellovin, FTC Chief Technologist; Henning Schulzrinne, FCC Chief Technologist; and Kara Swisher, Co-Executive Editor, All Things D, will judge the FTC Robocall Challenge. Judges will look at the following criteria:

  • Does it work? (50 percent)
  • Is it easy to use? (25 percent)
  • Can it be rolled out? (25 percent)

The contest was free and open to the public competing for one of two award tracks: Best Overall Solution for individuals, teams, and small organizations ($50,000 prize) or the FTC’s Technology Achievement Award (non-cash prize) for a solution from an organization that employs 10 or more people.

FTC staff expects to announce any winners in early April 2013.

The FTC launched its first public Challenge in October 2012 as part of an ongoing campaign against illegal, prerecorded telemarketing calls. Commission staff persists in aggressive law enforcement to combat these calls, and continues to work with industry insiders and other experts to identify potential solutions. For more information about the FTC’s ongoing robocall initiatives, see www.ftc.gov/robocalls.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Contact Information

MEDIA CONTACT:

Cheryl Hackley,
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2480

 
STAFF CONTACT:

Kati Daffan,
Bureau of Consumer Protection
202-326-2727