Outbound caller ID or identification refers to the name, phone number, and other information that is sent by someone who is calling another person. This information can then be received by the phone system a person is calling and displayed for the user of that phone system as an inbound caller ID. The information transmitted by this type of system can vary, depending on the phone service provider a person uses and how many phone lines a person has. In some countries, outbound caller ID may be legally required for all phone services, so that callers are identifiable by anyone with an inbound system.
Although many people simply refer to “caller ID,” the system used to convey information about calls being received is composed of two different elements. Inbound caller ID is what most people think of in reference to this service, which is the ability for someone receiving a phone call to see information about the incoming call. This relies on outbound caller ID, however, which refers to the information that is sent by the system placing the phone call. Without outbound caller ID, there would be no information sent for the person receiving a call to see displayed on his or her phone.
The importance of outbound caller ID concerns the way in which someone can impact the information he or she sends. Caller ID spoofing, for example, involves the use of a service to send identification information other than what is accurate. This can allow someone to have a name or phone number appear that is not actually his or hers. Some Internet phone services also allow users to set their name and phone number that they want outbound caller ID to send with a call. Businesses with multiple phone numbers or extensions can also use different services to have a single number used for outbound signals, so that individual extensions are kept private.
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Depending on the laws of a country, outbound caller ID may be legally required for all phone calls made within that country. This ensures that businesses are not able to improperly represent themselves when contacting customers. The use of spoofing products or services may also be illegal in some areas, though other countries simply regulate the way in which people or companies are allowed to alter their displayed information. Internet phone systems can also utilize different phone handlers to forward long-distance or international calls, which may not properly advance outbound caller ID information to those receiving such calls.