How Will Caller ID Authentication Help Consumers?
Caller ID authentication technology enables subscribers to trust that callers are who they say they are, reducing the effectiveness of fraudulently spoofed calls. This technology is critical to protecting Americans from scams using spoofed robocalls because it erodes the ability of callers to illegally spoof a caller ID, which scammers use to trick Americans into answering their phones when they shouldn't. Caller ID authentication technology also allows consumers and law enforcement alike to more readily identify the source of illegal robocalls and reduce their frequency and impact. The STIR/SHAKEN framework, an industry-standard caller ID authentication technology, is a set of technical standards and protocols that allow for the authentication and verification of caller ID information for calls carried over Internet Protocol (IP) networks. As implementation continues to progress, it will give Americans more confidence that the caller ID information they receive is accurate and will allow voice service providers to provide helpful information to their consumers about which calls to answer.
What Does STIR/SHAKEN Mean?
STIR/SHAKEN is a framework of interconnected standards. STIR/SHAKEN are acronyms for the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) and Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (SHAKEN) standards. This means that calls traveling through interconnected phone networks would have their caller ID "signed" as legitimate by originating carriers and validated by other carriers before reaching consumers. STIR/SHAKEN digitally validates the handoff of phone calls passing through the complex web of networks, allowing the phone company of the consumer receiving the call to verify that a call is in fact from the number displayed on Caller ID.
What Is the FCC Doing?
FCC rules require providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN in the Internet Protocol (IP) portions of their networks by June 30, 2021, so that Americans can benefit from this important technology and start to have faith in their phone calls again. In September 2020, the FCC further implemented Congressional direction from the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED Act) and adopted more rules to ensure that even those providers unable to implement STIR/SHAKEN right away are still taking steps to protect their customers from illegal robocalls.
In the next several months, as the June 30, 2021 STIR/SHAKEN implementation deadline approaches, the FCC will require that all providers certify in a newly created public database that they have fully implemented STIR/SHAKEN or have instituted a robocall mitigation program to ensure that they are not originating illegal robocalls. All providers will be required to submit to the database the contact information for the personnel at their company responsible for robocall-mitigation related issues. And those providers certifying to their implementation of a robocall mitigation program will be required to include descriptions of the reasonable steps they are taking avoid originating illegal robocall traffic. Finally, because the STIR/SHAKEN framework is only operational on IP networks, Commission rules also require providers using older forms of network technology to either upgrade their networks to IP or actively work to develop a caller ID authentication solution that is operational on non-IP networks.
- FCC Mandates STIR/SHAKEN to Combat Spoofed Robocalls (March 31, 2020)
- FCC Adopts New Rules to Combat Spoofed Robocalls (September 29, 2020)
- Request for Extension of STIR/SHAKEN Deadline and Petition Filed (December 4, 2020)
- FCC Issues Caller ID Authentication Best Practices (December 22, 2020)
- Seven Voice Service Providers Qualified for Stir/Shaken Exemption (December 23, 2020)
- Report to Congress on Caller ID Authentication Implementation Process (December 29, 2020)
- FCC Adopts Call Authentication Trust Anchor Second Further Notice (January 13, 2021)
- STIR/SHAKEN Caller ID Authentication Governance Framework Revised to Expand Participation (November 18, 2020)
- North American Numbering Council: Call Authentication Trust Anchor: Best Practices Report (September 24, 2020)
- FCC Adopts Consortium Registration Process & Issues Further Notice (March 27, 2020)
- FCC Includes Conditional STIR/SHAKEN Mandate in Proposed Rules (June 6, 2019)
- North American Numbering Council: Call Authentication Trust Anchor: Selection of Governance Authority and Timely Deployment of STIR/SHAKEN (May 3, 2018)
- Reliable Call Authentication System Notice of Inquiry (July 13, 2017)
- Robocall Strike Force Report (PDF, April 28, 2017)
- Robocall Strike Force Report (PDF, Oct. 26, 2016)
FCC Consumer Resources
- Consumer Tips and Information about Caller ID Spoofing
- Consumer Guide: Stop Unwanted Robocalls and Texts
- FCC Consumer Help Center | File a Consumer Complaint with the FCC