Issue No 6: 26 March 2020
Draft Telecommunications Industry Code to Combat Scam Calls Released for Public Comment
A new draft industry Code, designed to fight scam callers, has been released for public comment by Communications Alliance.
Scam calls annoy and defraud Australian consumers. While vulnerable consumers are at the highest risk of being defrauded, even well-informed and sophisticated consumers can fall victim. Even those not defrauded are victims to an extent, as their telecommunications service is used to persistently deliver Scam Calls or in some cases their number is used (spoofed) to make Scam Calls without their knowledge.
The level of sophistication and agility now seen with scammers and fraudsters is one of the key issues faced by industry. In addition to the work being undertaken by the regulators to combat scammers and fraudsters, industry is also developing a range of technical responses to reduce Scam Calls.
The new Code has been created by a Communications Alliance Working Committee, chaired by Mr John Laughlin from Telstra and included representatives from Australia’s major telecommunications service providers and from the industry regulator, the ACMA.
The Code sets out a process for identifying, tracing, blocking and otherwise disrupting Scam Calls. The process is built on improved information sharing between Carriers/Carriage Service Providers (C/CSPs) as well as improved information sharing between industry and regulators.
The Code provides a framework for co-operation that industry believes will ultimately lead to the identification of scammers so enforcement action can be taken. “Scamming is a genuine scourge that cost Australians more than half a billion dollars in 2018 and which continues to grow,” said Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton.
The draft Code will remain open for public comment until 8 May, after which all the comments and feedback received will be assessed as part of the process of producing a final Code. This will then be submitted to the ACMA for consideration for registration, at which point its provisions will become mandatory and enforceable.
Registration of the Integrated Public Number Database (IPND) Code
A revised version of the Integrated Public Number Database (IPND) Industry Code has been registered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
The Integrated Public Number Database is an industry-wide database of all Public Number Customer Data (PNCD). The IPND is a passive database whereby the IPND Manager facilitates the passage of data from Data Providers to Data Users. The IPND Code specifies who can supply and/or receive data to/from the IPND, as well as the obligations on use of IPND data.
Communications Alliance encourages Carriers, Carriage Service Providers (C/CSPs) and Data Providers (DPs) to review the new Code version as soon as possible in order to make themselves aware and comply with new key obligations.
Some of the new obligations are to:
It is recommended that C/CSPs and DPs consult with the IPND Manager to schedule their data extracts, or even to submit a schedule plan, to assist in the system stability and to avoid multiple data requests being made.