People have varying views of technology, It's safe to say that most of us take our cellphones everywhere and appreciate the convenience. There are others, though, who see them as a necessary evil in today's world.
One thing everyone agrees on, though: Robocalls.
Those annoying automated phone calls—often with the originating number masked so it looks like its coming from a local person. But when you answer, you find a recording offering you a deal on an extended car warranty or home security or something else you don't want.
Politicians use them. So do charities. Lots of scammers use robocalling technology, too. Threatening but fake calls from crooks pretending to be IRS agents or debt collectors are common. According to the Federal Communications Commission, Americans received nearly 48 billion—that's billion with a "b"—robocalls in 2018.
On Thursday, the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet held a hearing on robocalls. And the consensus from industry and government testimony is stronger criminal enforcement is needed.
The TRACED Act aims to do that. The bill would require telecommunications companies to adopt call authentication technology and make it easier to file civil charges and even criminally prosecute those who violate telemarketing regulations.
The sheer volume of robocalls and the fact that many behind them are located outside of U.S. jurisdiction means they will probably never stop. But maybe, just maybe, they can be cut down if the TRACED Act passes.