Google Voice call screening as robocall prevention

Google recently announced a new call screening feature for its Pixel phone. This feature is intended to help customers screen unwanted robocalls. Here’s what it will do.

Google Call Screening will be an on-device feature, which means it won’t have to do an over-the-air lookup to check the identity of an incoming call. If the caller ID is unknown to the device, the call screening feature will answer the call and play a recorded message:

Google voice call screening

Whatever the caller says in response to this message will be translated and displayed as voice-to-text on the phone. Upon reading the caller’s response, the user will have several choices:

  • Answer the call.
  • Select a spoken message to be played to the caller, such as “Who is this?” or “I’ll call you back,” or “Tell me more.”
  • Tap a button that reports the call as spam. Future calls from the same caller will be marked as spam but won’t be blocked.

An effective solution?

This feature seems like it could provide some relief from unwanted robocalls. However, it wouldn’t make the problem go away completely. Here’s why:

  1. Robocalls still have to be dealt with. Customers just wouldn’t have to interact directly.
  2. Robocall perpetrators use spoofed caller IDs. So if you report the call, you’re reporting a spoofed number. Robocallers will just use another one.
  3. By answering the call, the call screening application tells the caller that you answer calls. Robocallers target phone numbers that have answered their calls before. You might get more unwanted robocalls.

A better solution

STIR/SHAKEN is a better solution. It can identify fake caller IDs. Most users won’t answer phone calls if they know the caller ID is spoofed.

Would you answer this call?

Fake caller ID warning

With a notification like that, users could reduce their interaction with unwanted robocalls even further, or not interact at all.

Providers can deploy STIR/SHAKEN today

TransNexus NexOSS and ClearIP software products have STIR/SHAKEN features available today. Telecom service providers can deploy this service in their production networks and begin authenticating, signing and verifying calls today.

Contact us today to learn how you can deploy STIR/SHAKEN in your telecom network.

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