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Voice over Internet Protocol Caller Identification (VoIP caller ID) is a type of application found in VoIP phones that allows the person being contacted to view the caller’s phone number and in most cases, the name of the caller, through a console from where the communication is established. Caller identification is an added value service provided by telecommunications companies. Furthermore, the caller's personal identification information can also be withheld on some outgoing calls. This is usually done by dialing a special code before connecting with the recipient’s phone number.
Almost all major VoIP service providers are offering caller ID services to its clients, although some VoIP providers will allow spoofing of caller ID information to hide the caller's original identity. VoIP caller ID works like the traditional caller ID service found in telephone lines. But since it runs on the Internet, it is more complex and highly advanced.
VoIP facilitates easy modification of caller identification information. This trick is used especially in some organizations – mostly those who prefer hiding their personal identity and information for confidential purposes. Although this can be a good factor in sales and marketing, it also opens up the potential for risk and abuse.
In 2006, the U.S. Congress initiated the H.R. 5126 or the “Truth In Caller ID Act”. Originally, the bill proposed to condemn companies from transmitting misleading caller ID information through any telecommunications service. But at the end of the 109th Congress, the bill unfortunately expired. After a series of revisions and attempts to pass the bill, President Barack Obama finally signed the bill into law on December 22, 2010.