This better not bypass the phone app's blocklist
Bet it does though, the excuse being Uncle Google verified it for you.
Ad slinger Google is rolling out Verified Calls on its Phone App in the hope that its clients might stop you from ignoring calls from numbers you don't recognise. The theory goes that if a user sees the business's name and the reason for the call pop up on their device, then they are more likely to actually take the call …
I don't know what Google are hoping to achieve here. I don't just block calls because they don't come from someone in my phonebook. I also block calls if they come from a business that has no good reason to be calling me. Confirming that you are someone I don't want to speak to is not going to stop me telling them to fuck off.
Even if I do have a business relationship with them, there is absolutely no reason for them to call me UNLESS we have an on-going transaction, initiated by me, that is having a problem at their end. All else is garbage, and I'm not interested. Period.
 Which is defined by them as "they have heard of me somewhere", if indeed it is defined beyond "they have my phone number".
Not even a hospital you've never visited, but your dear relative ended up in their Emergency Room?
In in US the hospital gets into privacy problems if they undertake to call you about a relative you do not have Power of Attorney in healthcare matters for. And how would said hospital know of that? I have a mobile that has ICE ( in case of emergency) numbers set up. The medical staff ( first responders included) know how to access that so the call would come from my phone not the hospital's or EMT's. Phone destroyed in said emergency and we are all SOL.
"In in US the hospital gets into privacy problems if they undertake to call you about a relative you do not have Power of Attorney in healthcare matters for."
But they're also legally obligated to notify Next of Kin, especially in a morbid or mortality situation. Most hospitals I know leave a caller ID, but it's usually just the "front desk" number, not any specific ward or clinic, to at least inform the caller it's a hospital.
For most businesses their name appears on the call screen already so it has nothing to do with knowing their number or not and everything to do with wanting them to fuck off and leave me alone. If I want to talk to a salesdroid about shite I don't need I'll call them.
Only because the call is being intercepted by Google to send and compare it to their database, before sending the matched name back to your phone. As far as I was aware that's an illegal call interception.
One of many on by default "features" disabled on my phone!
re: "business that do have a good reason to call you, but you just don't know their number"
Then they can leave a message and I can either call back (yes, this is important) or not (ahhhhh, no). Seems pretty simple, am I missing something?
don't know what Google are hoping to achieve here
Depending on the alleged company, they could maybe deduce that you're a pensioner with a common disease that particularly affects pensioners (you've been Googling it for a few days now) and that you have no private healthcare plan (you've been Googling that for a few days now). Of course it would be
a great targeted ads opportunity highly unethical to connect your browsing history and emails to a phone database...
I don't care if you are really Amazon or Microsoft Support... I don't care. I didn't ask you to call me so why are you doing it?
The same goes fo 99.9% of the calls I get these days.
As for Google? I would not trust them as far as I could throw my car and it weighs over 2tonnes.
The company calling you, has to add a note as to why they're calling you - and google pops this up on the screen when your phone rings. A "subject line" for the call.
Quite smart - say my mobile company calls me with "possible fraud" I'll answer, if it's "upgrade offers" I wouldn't. Presume they'll be a system put in place where when I do answer, I can provide feedback on whether or not the subject line was accurate.
Where this benefits google is that it gets a glimpse of what's going on in your life, much as it does by scanning your gmail.
i.e. If you get a load of calls from banks to "discuss loan", or car garages with "discuss pricing" - those are some lovely high-value key words they can add to your profile of ads you're more likely to consume.
I do have to admire google's helpful-evil
Unless the reason is, returning my call, then they can bugger right off!
Sorry but for me if I want something (product, service etc.) I will phone them, until then they can leave me in peace. Any company phoning me for "offers", or selling me anything immediately goes to the bottom of the list, and most likely has lost my business.
> Quite smart - say my mobile company calls me with "possible fraud" I'll answer, if it's "upgrade offers" I wouldn't.
"Well, Your Honor, you see, the thing is, we were upfront about it. We told them in our call purpose that we hoped to defraud them, and they accepted our call and offer to defraud them!"
"I don't know what Google are hoping to achieve here"
Yet another opportunity to act as a middle man with a vested interest between the two ends of a communication they should be respecting as private.
...is the business that pays Google to be on the service in the first place. Just like they do for the adverts.
Unfortunately I sense that people are going to be more annoyed by getting these calls, than they are with the adverts.
This is going to open a whole world of consumer pain, I believe. Fortunately, I'm not on Google or Apple.
Ever try to sell the caller something? I do it occasionally. This is especially effective on political pollsters and the like, they get really, really irate.
Caller: Is this the party to whom I am speaking?
Me: Thank you for calling the Zucchini Hotline! Would you like to purchase some Zucchini?
Me: This is the Zucchini Hotline, surely you are looking to purchase Zucchini!
Caller: No, I called you to tell/ask you about <thing>
Me: But this is the Zucchini Hotline!
Caller" Stop talking about Zucchini!
Me: Why would you call the Zucchini Hotline if you weren't interested in Zucchini?
Caller: Stop wasting my time!
Me: Who is wasting whose time? I sell Zucchini, you called me. Do you want Zucchini or not? If not, why on earth did you call the Zucchini Hotline?
Me: I'm sorry, I didn't get that. How many cases of Zucchini would you like?
They often aren't allowed to hang up unless you swear at them, so I've managed to drag the nonsense out for over ten minutes occasionally, before getting bored and telling them they have been fucked with ... and (usually) that I have no idea why they called me, did they enjoy wasting their own time over nothing?
 Apologies to Lily Tomlin ... but seeing as they don't know the number that their computer called, what better way is there to put it?
 Tomatoes, lettuce, pumpkins, steer manure, used golf balls, dried kelp, whatever strikes your fancy.
"They often aren't allowed to hang up unless you swear at them..."
I've found they'll hang up pretty quickly for one of two reasons: (1) Wrong Number, or (2) Prank Answerer.
Me? I don't bother. The moment I recognize a pre-recorded message, I either just hang up or leave an appropriate "You don't apply to me" response THEN hang up. Anyway, most calls don't go through my call blocker because it hangs up on any strange numbers (and spam callers tend to use random numbers to get around blocklists so fall right into my trap--anyone I know has called before so will get through, and anyone determined enough--like a hospital--will call twice anyway). Any patterns of bad callers get blacklisted on top of it, and it's able to block whole exchanges or even area codes if necessary.
* gets to charge a business to be 'verified'.
* learns who is calling who and why, so learns more about the business and the person being called. Google says that it won't "share sensitive information about users with its business partners" - is not the same as Google not learning something.
Can 'phone users opt out of this completely - ie no calls will be shown 'verified' ?
And it's hard to be honest, to think of any. Certainly there are cases when I have called a company, and their return call is unidentified, but if I'm expecting something I'll answer it. But anyone who *isn't* on my contacts list can either sod off or leave a message.
There are *no* circumstances where I will be interested in a random company calling me to try and sell something - whether google have approved them or not.
I can't think of many, but there was an incident a few years ago where I had a couple of calls from a 20-or-so digit number which was obviously some spammy call centre; a few months later I discovered that it was in fact a court trying to notify me of something important. And hospital waiting lists are another one: you can go months between being put on the list and getting the phone call to tell you your number's come up, and I don't want to take every potentially spam call in that interval.
I note that Spain is one of the countries where they're launching, and I think that's partly due to cultural differences. In Spain no-one leaves a message. The culture here is that if someone phones you and you don't answer, the ball is now in your court and you should phone back to find out what it was about.
I tend to answer any calls that come in (assuming I'm free), known or unknown. Scammers find themselves subjected to whatever comes to mind, although most of the time it's automatic calls who just get silence until they hang up (I'm hoping that this costs them more). However, I have the luxury to do this because somehow scammers already don't call me very often (about twice a month). Maybe it has something to do with my efforts to irritate them, but it's probably more dumb luck.
What would be useful in this circumstance is a policy change and a technical one. The technical change is to verify calling numbers and prohibit number spoofing*. The policy change is to require a mechanism to report scams to phone companies, which would be required to investigate and terminate those who get too many requests**. Both of these policies could be implemented without much consequence, and they would likely make a large dent in unwanted calls.
*My suggestion would entirely eliminate the ability to spoof a number. Two modifications are possible. First, we could allow people to provide an alternate number that will be recognized as long as their calling number is also provided and verified. Second, we could allow a blank number which clients could explicitly accept or reject. If spoofing is really that important, I think those suggestions will provide any benefits I'm willing to accept.
**In order to deal with the risk of using faked scam notifications to attack a number, the policy would only require action if a verified call from the number was made in a short period of time preceding the notification. Perhaps there would be a noise level wherein an investigation is only required after three reported scams.
I do not like it when i get a call with a blocked number, for some reason some calls from the NHS have a blocked number.
As far as getting a spoofe number I would assume that the telephone company CAN backtrack and identify the real number, other wise how would they bill it?
So if you contact the telephone company with the time ofthecall they can figure out who is really calling.
"As far as getting a spoofe number I would assume that the telephone company CAN backtrack and identify the real number, other wise how would they bill it?"
I found sometimes they have to write it off because even that got spoofed...or the exchange is hostile...
That's why my suggestion would include the ability to reject blocked caller ID (or omit it entirely). One interesting option is to be able to announce to the caller that blocked caller ID is not accepted so they can choose to show the number. You are only slightly correct about the phone companies being able to identify spoofed numbers. Often, the originating connection knows who is really calling and bills that person, but that doesn't necessarily mean that, by the time it gets to you, your phone provider knows who it is specifically. This variable is meaningless, however, because you can't really get a phone company to do anything about a report. If you call them today, they won't have much infrastructure for identifying or pursuing the scam, partially because, for connecting the call, they'll get paid a small amount. My suggestions would require them to do this and remove any possibility that they'd conveniently fail to identify the source. Any unwanted calls would have to come in clearly identifying their source, which means most criminal attempts would be stopped quickly and commercial bulk-calling could be more easily targeted by data protection authorities.
"My suggestions would require them to do this and remove any possibility that they'd conveniently fail to identify the source."
No, they'll just spoof like they're doing now. Some have the assistance of hostile exchanges, too, such as SIPs, so can spoof even the "hidden" billing ID. I know phone companies are increasingly writing off certain percentages of bills because they can't be pursued beyond the border.
I live in Spain and currently get less odd calls than a year or two back, I have had some of those twenty digit numbers that seem to be from Wisconsin or Khazakstan but I almost never answer unknown numbers, if they don't identify themselves why should I talk to them?
I have answered a couple of cold callers but after lisening to a bit of the spiel I just say in a very British accent 'No intiendo mate!' and they hang up.
If, on the other hand the Hacienda (tax man) has a verification, I might actually answer them.
Hospital waiting lists...
They won't identify anyway. Hospitals withhold their number for privacy. Can you imagine the conversation triggered by your phone ringing with the text "Hospital... about your abortion" and the sex-starved husband seeing it?
Test results aren't left in a message for privacy reasons. They'll tell you to call back. And most hospitals just leave their "front desk" number as Caller ID. Furthermore, things like you describe tend to be handled discretely, say under the guise of a gynecologist.
Any business stupid enough to pay money to Google for something like this is a business I definitely want nothing to do with. Doesn't Google do anything real any more? It's always this kind of drek being puished as innovative, along with endless tinkering and rearranging the controls on things to no real purpose. They seem to have a million engineers and software people but they only seem to be able to manage useless stuff like this. We the humans would like software written primarily for us, and not developed primarily with a constant eye out for corporate interests. Not seeing a lot of that these days from the overloards, and they're not even pretending like they used to.
Since Google will not vet the to-be-verified calls by human operator it will employ massive automation.
The robo-caller's playbook
* Step 1: register some throw-away business with Google to have calls verified
* Step 2: verify all your robo-calls with Google
* Step 3: If your throw-away business gets blocked by Google over user complaints, start again with Step 1
In the end, the prices for robo-calls goes up a bit, Google gets to know even more of how's in business with whom, and the robo-calls don't go away.
This idea of verifying the calls you're about to make with Google so that Google can notify the other end of the call that this is not spam,
reminds me of the idea of uploading your nude pictures to FakeBook, so that FakeBook can filter them out later, if someone uploads revenge porn.
Palm, meet face.
reminds me of the idea of uploading your nude pictures to FakeBook, so that FakeBook can filter them out later, if someone uploads revenge porn.
I expect if I uploaded *MY* nude pictures, it would crash their servers (in a form of server suicide).
1. STD Clinic requests Google to verify a call to John/Jane Doe.
2. Google verifies the call and hungrily slurps the data, fantasizes over the marketing opportunities and sells the info to Blackmail-r-Us Inc.
3. John/Jane Doe subsequently receives a "verified" call from Blackmail-r-Us Inc ... "does your husband/wife/partner know you have a STD?
I believe the intended meaning would better be expressed as "Its clients might be able to assure you that you would like to accept their call even though you don't recognize their number". However, there's another meaning, and Google might like to implement that one. That meaning would be clearly expressed as "Its clients might be able to use this to bypass existing restrictions and get their notifications into your face more often, rewarding Google for the privilege while irritating you".
No, I think it's the truth. No footnote needed. That information is in fact deleted. The minutes between sending it to you and deleting it permanently are just spent running it through a parser which adds relevant chunks to your advertising model.
There's another truth in the article. Some of us might feel doubt when we hear that "The advertising behemoth also insisted that it wouldn't share sensitive information about users with its business partners", but that's also entirely honest. It will not share any of that information with the partners. It will sell the ability to use but not view that information to the partners, entirely different.
I generally do answer to calls not in my contacts list, because they sometimes are e.g. one of my customers calling from their personal phone. But 95% of times they are spam.
Now, if Google tells me that this call is from, say, any business that I do not currently have a relationship with, I can safely reject the call and add the number to the block list.
So yeah, this sounds useful to me, though maybe not in the way Google is hoping.
When are we going to finally force telecoms to prevent caller ID spoofing, by the way?
Probably not until goverments stop being able to be controlled by corporations. So. Basically never.
Telco's don't want to do this either, because they make money off all those spoofed robocalls. So stopping spoofing means you would actually be able to block the actual spammers, which means less connected calls, which means less revenue for the telco..
Sirius Cybernetics Corporation would very much disagree with you.
Personally, I think that it won't be too long before Amazon makes a play to do exactly just that. They'd take on the US National debt and ... before long the only store/restaurant/outlet is owned and controlled by Amazon. You would be forbidden by law to have your own chickens, grow your own stuff and even pick wild fruits without a license from Amazon.
1984 in the eyes of Bezos didn't go anywhere near far enough.
Yes, they would have to add Google as a data processor and specify in their updated privacy notice that they're going to do it. It will definitely be specifically opt-in, an easy switch that isn't connected to anything else, just like people have to do with tracking cookies now. Now once the data protection authorities realize that nobody's doing that with tracking cookies, maybe we'll actually make progress and stop this idea only five or six years after it's implemented.
I have a big issue with what Google is, has been and will be doing with the phone app. This current idea follows the trend. Google has its phone app will tell you who is phoning you, say a business not stored as a contact, or alert you to possible fraud. To do this the villainous as slinger has to have the phone app send the data relating to the call ( the number), match it to what ever database they have and send it back to your phone so it can display the name. All before your phone rings. Isn't that "call interception"? Isn't that illegal?
They have waived the "shiny-shiny" at the stupid masses who have left this, on by default, feature active. Look it tells you who is phoning, it does, and what other call details are passed to Google to store, analyse and sell?
This new thing is an extension to this, and entirely unwanted. Who cares if it's a verified business, if it's unsolicited then they can do one! Just more excuses to earn money from $h1t advertising by a company that cares not one iota about privacy and the right to peace & quiet!!
If you want peace and quiet then turn your bloody phone off. Or set the ringer to silent.
I, for one, am glad that Google is popping up "Possible Fraud" alerts.
YOU may think you're hot shit and the bee's knees and sharper than a razor, but a lot of people, especially the elderly, aren't.
If governments and telcos won't step up to the plate and bring the baseball bat down on scammers and fraudsters, then at least the Chocolate Factory printing "Possible Fraud" in big letters will hopefully save SOME pensioners from getting scammed.
My, someone must have sat down on a pin!
"Peace and quiet" the right to not receive unsolicited calls. More than happy to accept friends, family and those I have given my number to. Unsolicited sales, marketing can go forth and multiply.
If anyone thinks this has ANYTHING to do with "won't someone think of the elderly" , then they are living in cloud cuckoo land. This has everything to do with Google making money, by accepting money to have calls flagged as acceptable so that, in your case, the "elderly" will answer and say yes to shit they don't need because it's got a "Google tick"
This is a business that wishes to track everyone, collect, analyse and store personal data, sell advertising doing similar to Phorm, which was ruled illegal, but the principals of injected adds based in tracking is now the norm. I would struggle to find anything that the Google of last 15 years or more has done that has ever been done for altruistic reasons. Everything has an angle, and that points to revenue to Google.
You only have to look at all the "promoted" searches in a Google search to see just how good they are at stopping "scammers" from taking money from unsuspecting members of the public.
Businesses that have an actual reason for calling me leave a voicemail saying who they are, so I can call them back or choose to answer next time. The only one this benefits is Google, who gets to know why businesses are calling consumers so they can add more data to the profile of each.
Glad I don't and never will use Google Phone. Is that the standard "phone app" on Android, or is Google Phone something separate?
There is a basic phone dialer as part of AOSP, and I've seen a lot of Android phones use that as the default. I think this one is a different, Google-specific dialer, and I imagine it's shipped on Google's phones. Whether it's routinely provided by other manufacturers I'm not sure, but if this is valuable enough to Google, they'll make it one of the required preinstallations for manufacturers using Play Services. Android users can, however, change the default app which receives calls to something more trustworthy.
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