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Caller identification, or caller ID, provides knowledge of who is on the other end of a phone call before a person even answers the phone. It is implemented on telephone consoles and can also be viewed on a television (TV) set. Caller ID for TV is attained using a separate device or ordered as part of a subscriber’s telephone or cable TV service. The number of the caller is displayed and is often accompanied by the name of the person or company on the screen. There are sometimes display units just for caller ID (CID), but many cable companies offer caller ID for TV so subscribers can view caller information directly on cable TV channels.
Telephone and TV service are many times part of the same plan with a cable company. The information of the person calling, therefore, can be displayed on the same screen as a television show, without changing the channel or screen content. Caller information is available immediately when the phone rings, while a subscriber also makes his or her information available when calling others. As with caller ID for telephones, there is the option to block one’s details so that his or her number cannot be seen by a recipient. Some systems let the user block their number while making specific calls, or while using particular phone lines.
Caller ID for TV operates on the same principles as traditional CID, so a subscriber can choose to block their name, or prevent their information from being displayed by 800 number recipients. Regional regulations often vary as to the rules guiding caller ID. Its use for emergency calls, however, might be monitored by local authorities. When the telephone service is combined with a TV, a remote control can be used to turn the caller ID for TV on and off. A list of recent callers can sometimes be accessed with the controller and an on-screen menu associated with the cable service.
Even if legal regulations prohibit it, sometimes callers pretending to be from a bank or credit card company add the correct name of the party to their caller ID. Suspect calls should be ignored and reported to local agencies. A receiving party could otherwise experience identity theft if he or she gives out personal information such as credit card, account, or social security numbers. The same caution for using calling number identification needs to be followed with caller ID for TV.