Podcast 20: TADSummit Innovators, Gerry Christensen, Caller ID Reputation

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Gerry Christensen and I have known each other for about 2 decades, since his Mind Commerce days. He’s supported TADSummit over the years and provides excellent, insightful, and highly relevant presentations:

The focus of our discussion was robocalling.

We discussed how STIR/SHAKEN was not implemented on the PSTN gateways, only the VoIP gateways because the carriers would not pay the cost to upgrade / replace their switches. Hence STIR/SHAKEN plugged the hole of VoIP gateways, while leaving the PSTN gateways open. Naturally the robocallers moved over, and hence the situation we see today on robocalling, it remains a problem. It simply has not been stopped because STIR/SHAKEN was not fully implemented.

The root of any future solution is identity. Gerry focused on how the telecom ecosystem can evolve to an identity based solution. Some of the points he made in this evolution must be ecosystem-wide; and crawl, walk, then run on bringing identity into solving robocalling.

To that end CIDR takes an agnostic approach to the specific identity used, whether it be LEI (Legal Entity Identifier, a 20-digit code that identifies legal entities in financial transactions), VLEI (Verifiable Legal Entity Identifiers), UUID (Verifiable Legal Entity Identifiers), a blockchain based ID, etc.

Gerry gave a shout out to SecureLogix which provides call branding, security and authentication solutions. He presented a vision that identity needs 3 dimensions across immutable, assertive, and behaviour. And a hope for the day when a branded call is seen as a trusted call by consumers.

Looking at the messaging side of the business which has a similar problem, the TCR approach is failing. Identity is also the root of the solution. I have a sneaking feeling we’ve reached a point where an identity solution that takes root on the internet could replace telcos’ home grown solutions.

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