To pick up, or not? Robocalls are on the rise, and more and more companies are looking for new ways how to deal with them. Lately, Google and Samsung have introduced new built-in features which help you fight spam calls with ease. However, there’s a catch. Let’s look at it more closely.
As for Google, the new built-in feature is available for Pixels. When you make or receive a call with caller ID and spam protection on, you can see information about callers or businesses that aren’t in your contacts or warnings about potential spam callers.
Samsung also introduced its new antispam feature. It’s called Smart call, and it lets you know who’s calling even when the number isn’t on your contact list. When it’s spam, you can block the call, and then take action by reporting it.
How does it work?
Both Google and Samsung are working with users’ reports – whenever you receive a spam call, you can easily report it. Caller ID by Google also shows the names of companies and services with a Google My Business listing.
However, when it comes to privacy, it becomes much less convenient. As some of Samsung’s users reported, this Samsung’s feature works with your contact lists, simply by uploading it to its database. And what’s more, Samsung never asks you for your permission to do that.
Get a call-block app, says the FTC
Verdict? People who really care about their privacy should stick to reliable call-blocking apps. By the way, it’s also a recommendation you receive when browsing the Federal Trade Commission’s website:
One of the best ways to block unwanted calls on a mobile phone is to download a call-blocking app. A call-blocking app acts like a filter. The company behind the app uses call data or reports from users to predict which calls are illegal or likely scams. The app then intercepts those calls before they reach you. (source: Federal Trade Commission)
The Should I Answer app respects your privacy
Unlike some other companies, the Should I Answer app, one of the most popular call blocking apps in the world, works strictly on an anonymous basis. It’s interested neither in your phone number, nor in your phone contacts. So those information stay safe in your mobile phone, they’re never sent to the app’s servers.
Here’s the full list of the permissions the Should I Answer app needs to work properly:
- Access to your contacts: Without this permission we are not able to distinguish which number is unknown to you. However, everything happens only in your phone, we never send your contacts’ information to our servers (and what’s more, we don’t even really „see“ them).
- Access to call log and call history: Without this permission we are not able to check if and which number is calling. Again, it all happens only in your phone.
- Set the application as default phone application: Without this permission we are not able to grant that the app will work without problems.
(Not an Android user? Check the app for your iPhone)