Are You Up to The Challenge?

If you or your company comes up with a technological solution to the scourge of illegal robocalls, you could earn national accolades — and, under the right circumstances, $50,000. Yup, you read that right.

At today’s FTC summit, Robocalls: All the Rage, experts examined the problem and discussed a variety of potential solutions. Then Bureau of Consumer Protection Director David Vladeck threw down the gauntlet and issued the FTC Robocall Challenge. College students, doctoral candidates, engineers, business people, and entrepreneurs: Apply your creative spirit and expertise to craft a technological solution to the problem.

What’s in it for you? For individuals, teams, or small companies (fewer than 10 people), a $50,000 prize — and National Hero status as the innovator who helped silence illegal (and annoying) robocalls. Organizations that employ more than 10 people won’t be eligible for the cash, but will compete for the FTC’s Technology Achievement Award, which as David noted, will still make you a National Hero.

The FTC Robocall Challenge is free and open to the public. The deadline for entries is January 17, 2013. The prize (either the money or the Achievement Award) will go to a person, team, or corporation if a solution is developed based on the following criteria:

  • Does it work?  (50%) 
  • Is it easy to use?  (25%)
  • Can it be rolled out?  (25%) 

As part of the challenge, the FTC will give interested solvers access to de-identified complaint data regarding robocalls with periodic updates to help spot the latest trends. The data will include: the date and approximate time of the call, the reported caller name, the first seven digits of reported caller phone number, and the consumer’s area code.

Visit FTC Robocall Challenge, check out the FAQs, and read the Official Rules. Also, we'll be hosting two social chats about The Challenge. From 1PM to 3PM Eastern Time on October 25, 2012, follow @FTC and tweet questions using #FTCrobo. Or ask questions on the FTC’s Facebook page from 2PM to 3PM that day.

We hope you’ll spread the word about the challenge — and maybe even become that National Hero.

Comments

I would love to find a solution to the scams that are putting a strain on our computers.I just spent money that I really didn't have on my computer to clear all the junk on it.

Am willing to try to find a solution. COUNT ME IN I HAVE HAD NUMEROUS CALLS THEY SOUND LIKE REAL PEOPLE. BUT YOU REALIZE THEY ARE NOT.

May the best man win

Since the year 2004, I have been asking the FBI/IC3.Gov to stopped this continual computer hacker from stealing my computer information and continual stopping the Microsoft Programs that are installed on my Windows Operating System in ordered to gained illegal accessed to my computer system on a daily basis/weekends/ and to this date the FBI/IC3.Gov/has not stopped this continual computer hacker from harassing me on the Internet since the year 2004 and this really disappointing.

Well I have some one trying to get my account right now. Off of date hook up sitting on the side of a street down in Florida I pined it on my iPhone map.

Need more info

yes

I think that if someone would be able to stop things like that easily it would have been done but its nice to know that people are trying to stop it and that others are willing to reward them for their efforts.

I would absoulutly be glad to help! I have other questions also. How can we work with each other, If I am unsure who I can TRUST ?!

My question how do you know if you are being scamed?

Thank goodness this project has begun. I continue to receive robocalls on my phone. I only have one phone so if I'm near the back of the house I have to run to catch the phone only to discover it's a robocall because I can't afford caller ID. With caller ID I suppose you would collect useless messages if you didn't answer your phone so you wouldn't escape the effects of these robocalls either. These robocalls disrupt the quality of life for people on many levels. They have to stop!

to have one's privacy invaded thru the phone and the computer or a combination, thereof, is quite appalling, frustrating and maddening...no call list should be both, phone and computer...the cable, etc. companies are the one's to solve this...

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