Would you consider changing the coding languages that I may use?

No. To ensure that the judges can test your submission, contestants may only use the languages: C++, C, Java, PERL, Ruby, or Python.

Are there any limitations to the number of individuals who can form one team?

No. There is no limit to the number of individuals who may form one team. If additional space is required to list all team members, please include the additional names in the body of the email that you use to submit your Registration Forms for all team members.

Can we add team members after we register?

Yes. You can add team members to an existing team. To add a new team member, the team representative must submit the new team member’s registration form by the submission deadline of 8:00 p.m. E.T. on June 7, 2015, using the same email address that the team representative provided on his or her registration form. The existing team members do not need to update their registration forms to reflect the newly added team members.

After registering as an individual, can I change my mind and switch my registration to be part of a team? If I do, will I keep my original time of registration?

Contestants who initially register as individuals may enter their submission as part of a team if they (1) update their registration form to indicate that they are part of a team; (2) their teammates complete and submit registration forms; (3) their teammates have not previously registered as either individuals or as part of a different team; and (4) all updated registration forms or newly submitted registration forms are submitted in one email by the team representative by the submission deadline of June 7, 2015 at 8:00 pm E.T. The team’s time of registration will be based on the time that the first team member originally submitted a registration form. 

What data will you be providing for analysis and what format will it be in?

Contestants will receive two sets of data from a honeypot each containing 250,000 call records. Both sets will include the following data fields: (1) calling number; (2) number called; and (3) time and date of the call. The training set will also include whether the call is a robocall. The data will be provided as a CSV file. Contestant’s robocall predictions must be submitted in ascii text format using CSV. Below are examples of what the training set and contestant’s robocall predictions in their submission should look like:

Sample Training Set:

Ref. No.FromToDate-TimeRobocall
1495824567850295899433/1/2015 0:010
2593878654335469234873/1/2015 0:031
3204928573669124827563/1/2015 0:031
4592837693879387645983/1/2015 0:050
5296812029458214569343/1/2015 0:071

Sample Submission:

Ref. No.FromToDate-TimeRobocall
1539485236768745684253/1/2015 0:01 
2743958390375647835763/1/2015 0:02 
3753476435368745257353/1/2015 0:05 
4456747425674567456353/1/2015 0:05 
5367673252756845842733/1/2015 0:09 

In the Contestant’s submission, Contestants must mark “1” next to each call they predict is a robocall and “0” next to each call they predict is a non-robocall.

The reference number is for scoring purposes only. See sections 4 and 7 of the Official Rules for additional information about submission requirements.

Will you provide recordings or any other data that will identify the robocalls?

No.The data sets will only contain call detail records and no voice recordings.

Will you anonymize the data?

To preserve the confidential business information contained in the data sets, the last 4 digits of all phone numbers (calling number and called number) are hashed in a randomized manner.Calling patterns based on area code and exchange, however, are preserved.

Does the data come from the FTC’s honeypot?

Pindrop Security, a partner for this contest, is providing the data from its honeypot.

What if I have a question for the judges or Pindrop?

The FTC will be hosting a Reddit Ask Me Anything about the 2015 robocall contests on May 27, 2015 at 4:00 E.T. The contest judges and Pindrop Security, a contest partner, will be available to answer contestants’ questions at that time. If you are unable to participate, please email your questions to and we will respond as soon as possible.

What happens if the judges have difficulty testing my submission?

The judges may contact you for additional information if there are difficulties in testing or evaluating your submission. 

When will FTC staff be available to answer questions?

FTC staff will be available to answer questions from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. E.T. on June 6 and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. E.T. on June 7. Please email all questions to and we will respond as soon as possible.

How will you announce the winners?

We intend to announce the winners by early August to enable the FTC to verify that the winners met the eligibility requirements specified in the Official Rules.

Will the judges know contestants’ identities during the judging process?

No, the FTC will anonymize contestants’ submissions by removing the originating email address before the judges view them. Section 4 of the Contest rules specifies that with the exception of the email address, no part of the submission may contain information revealing the contestant’s identity, such as a name, address, employment information, or other identifying details.