RoboKill the robocall?

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The search for the Death Star that will destroy illegal robocalls once and for all is still underway, but the solution is one step closer. The FTC just announced that judges have selected winners in Robocalls: Humanity Strikes Back, a contest to come up with tech tools to further the fight against annoying pre-recorded calls. The winner: a mobile app that blocks and forwards robocalls to a crowd-sourced honeypot. But the contest has broader implications for business.

If you run into Ethan Garr or Bryan Moyles, congratulate them on winning the $25,000 first prize and offer them a big thank you for RoboKiller, an app that uses audio-fingerprint technology and call forwarding to identify robocalls. Kudos to second place winner Hemant Sengar, who won $10,500 for his proposal, which also uses audio analytics.

In addition, judges determined the winners of the FTC’s DetectaRobo analytic challenge, hosted in connection with the National Day of Civic Hacking in June. Contestants analyzed data from an existing robocall honeypot and developed algorithms to identify which were likely to be robocalls. The Champion RoboSleuth was Team HaV. The title of Master RoboSleuth went to Team Milibo and Team RDAC.

Why should this matter to your company? When marketing methods go bad – and illegal robocalls are Example #1 – it’s bad for business. Reputable companies don’t use illegal robocalls and shouldn’t have to compete against fraudsters that do.

But there’s good news, too. Law enforcement efforts against robocall violators continue, of course, but we think Humanity Strikes Back is an example of how government and tech entrepreneurs can work together on a parallel track toward practical crowd-sourced solutions. Contest winners retain the IP right to what they develop – and we hope their innovations result in billions of blocked calls.

 

Comments

You should evaluate nomorob

thanks! wen kan I start using this app?

Congratulations!! Great job. I love getting your e-newsletter.

shame on you for not making a patent search. you would have found redirecting a call is my patent. see my linkedin profile under Voip to understand the patents 2 granted 1 pending. when edialer application is made a license is requiered.
Michael Rosen Akron Ohio

For clarification, are you trying to Patent Troll the FTC, or the winners of the contest?

It's about time

Outrageous waste of taxpayer money! Did the FTC bother to talk to the FCC? Robocalls are fine as long as the callers follow the parameters set forth in their July TCPA declaratory ruling. Thank you for giving us the app creators names so we can sue them for tortious interference with contract.

Expect that isn't the point of the FTC's Robocall killing competitions. Those are in regards to silencing illegal robocalls that are trying to sell you something without your express written consent, such as "Rachel from Card Holder Services". Indeed, the FCC is also joined in the fight as shown here:
https://www.fcc.gov/document/save-date-fcc-host-robocall-and-caller-id-spoofing-workshop

You gave lump sums of taxpayer money as a reward for possible solutions to unsolicited phone calls four years ago, yet today I get more robocalls than ever despite being on the National Do-Not-Call registry—I want my tax dollars back and I want the FTC to stop these ridiculous procrastinating “proactive” methods to solving this growing problem than never gets fixed.

You can get links to lists of call blocking apps for mobile and landline phones at the FTC's How to Stop Unwanted Calls. For company-specific information about blocking calls on landlines and phones that use the internet, go to fcc.gov.

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