Last Tuesday, the FCC announced its plans to cut down on robocalls and unwanted text messages that affect millions of Americans.
Since reports indicate that half of all phone calls in 2019 will be unwanted or spam, the FCC has demanded that phone companies implement a series of measures to protect consumers.
The first measure will create a national database of all phone numbers that have been recently assigned to someone else or disconnected.
This database will be provided to businesses such as banks and pharmacies so that they can avoid calling the wrong customers over and over again.
The second measure, however, is more controversial. It would give phone carriers the right to block spam text messages. On the surface, allowing phone companies to block spam messages sounds like a good thing. However, letting companies block messages according to their criteria is not necessarily positive. It might allow them to legally block some legitimate text messages as well. Under the new measure, text messages would be classified as a “lightly regulated information service”.
Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel objected to the proposals, which will be voted on this December.
“It’s brought to you by the same agency that gave broadband providers the right to censor your online activity by rolling back net neutrality,” she said. “Now, the agency wants consumers to believe that giving cell phone companies the ability to block your text messages is a good thing. This makes no sense.”
Nevertheless, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stated that the FCC is only attempting to “help shield consumers from unwanted contacts on their phones, no matter what kind of contact it is.”
If the new plan is passed, consumers could have less control over what types of calls and messages are blocked from their phones. Take control of who can call/text you and who can’t with Call Control. A simple download of the Call Control app can save you thousands of wasted minutes on the phone with telemarketers and scammers, and protect you from dangerous scams.