It seems like everyone is getting into crowdsourcing their problems. In the security industry, you usually hear about Google or Facebook paying out bug bounties for vulnerabilities but the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is bringing things to a new level. They’re offering $50,000 to anyone with a solution to eliminating telemarketing robocalls.
Even though the FTC has been successful in outlawing commercial telemarketing, little has been done to decrease or eliminate the pre-recorded messages that we receive on our phones. This is mostly due to the fact that robocalls are harder to trace as many come from overseas with inconsistent caller IDs.
Any proposed solutions to the robocall problem that are submitted in this contest will be reviewed based on the following criteria: proof of its effectiveness and resistance to being circumvented by telemarketers; ease of implementation; and practicality.
Only teams of 10 employees or less will be eligible to compete for the $50,000 prize. The contest runs from October 25, 2012 through January 17, 2013. For more information, check out their website. Good luck!
The race against robots is on: the Federal Trade Commission is offering $50,000 cash to anyone that can come up with a way to eliminate the insidious telemarketing robocall, it announced Thursday. While it may take a sizable workload, a good kill-switch for the spammy pre-recorded messages could put an end to the annoying overtures on the phone to enter a new sweepstakes, qualify for a new credit card, or get a new energy provider.
The FTC outlawed commercial telemarketing calls years ago in September 2009, but the legislation has done little to slow the flow of the pre-recorded messages ringing through to US phones. Because robocall systems are very complex and often internationally-oriented with layers of VoIP and spoofed caller IDs, the long arm of US law struggles to bring every last robocaller to justice. Hence, it’s time for some good old-fashioned ingenuity.
Robocall crackdown solutions will be evaluated and scored in three basic areas. The first area, worth half the score, is how well it works: proof of its effectiveness, extensibility to different kinds of phones (mobile, wired landlines, and so on), and how easily it might be circumvented by telemarketers once it’s rolled out. The second area, worth a quarter of the score, is how easy the solution would be to implement and use for consumers. The third area, also worth a quarter of the score, evaluates the idea based on how practical it is to deploy, with a high value placed on submissions that can be implemented immediately even if they are small-scale.
What do you think about the contest? Do you plan to enter? Post your comments below. Today’s post pic is from Wikipedia.org.