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Press Release

Will Efforts to Block Illegal Robocalls Negatively Impact Legitimate Businesses?

March 27, 2020

New market brief examines why international business calls to the U.S. may be inadvertently blocked and looks at how to address the potential issues

What’s the News: Legitimate calls originating outside the U.S. may be wrongly blocked by initiatives aimed at tackling illegal robocalls, creating a damaging impact on businesses.

  • Why it Matters: The new Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs (SHAKEN) is designed to address illegal robocalling and help rebuild consumer trust – studies show that in the U.S., 76 percent of calls from an unidentified or unfamiliar number are left unanswered.
  • Who’s it for: As SHAKEN is deployed in more countries, U.S. and international telecom service providers, regulators and enterprises need to fully understand how the service differentiates between illegal robocalls and legitimate international calls.

 

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. – March 26, 2020 – With illegal robocalls representing nearly half of all unwanted calls in 2019, the new Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs (SHAKEN) is helping to rebuild consumer confidence and trust in the U.S. by mitigating the impact of the criminals. However, as international calls will also pass through the SHAKEN service, overseas service providers need to be fully aware of the process to ensure their calls are properly authenticated and verified, and not inadvertently blocked due to lack of trust in the authentication information or lack of authentication altogether.

In order to ensure businesses are not disadvantaged by legitimate calls originating outside the U.S. being caught in the SHAKEN net, there is a need for authoritative guidelines for international service providers to ensure the rules for handling their calls are clearly understood.

A trusted partner in the global communications ecosystem, iconectiv has released a new market brief outlining the processes that international service providers need to follow as SHAKEN becomes more widely deployed.  Implementing the correct behavior will help ensure that legitimate calls from international counterparts are successfully validated in the U.S.

Studies show that in the U.S., 76 percent of calls from an unidentified or unfamiliar number are left unanswered. That means each year, hundreds of millions of legitimate calls are missed. This issue could impact multinational enterprises with caller IDs from colleagues overseas, customers or business partners not being accurately presented as verified. The same is true of any overseas consumer calling the U.S. from their fixed or mobile line. There is also the scenario in which a call originates from a country that does not implement SHAKEN and terminates in a country that does.

“Ensuring trusted access to information and enabling its seamless exchange is essential in today’s connected world,” said Richard Jacowleff, CEO and President, iconectiv. “SHAKEN is delivering a strong foundation on which to rebuild trust in domestic communications. However, we are in a global economy with billions of international calls made daily, and geography cannot and should not be an obstacle that presents a barrier to business engagement.”

The iconectiv market brief sets out how the existing SHAKEN framework operates, considers points to consider for international traffic and outlines what can be done to ensure that legitimate calls from international callers are appropriately verified and displayed to the called party.

The full Cross-Border Verification Market Brief can be downloaded here.