First let me start off by saying I am a huge fan of automation. I even wrote a blog entry at my corporate blog (which hardly gets updated) a while back named Verisign's Sweet Automated Verification Process. So when I saw a thread at DigitalPoint forums named Google AdSense Phone Verification I got a bit excited. Soon after, the thread was created, the page with the information on how Google's AdSense Phone Verification works was pulled, it was here and I know it was there, I checked it out yesterday morning. It said;
How does phone verification work?
Phone verification is completely automated - you'll only need to key in a 6-digit personal identification number (PIN) using your touch-tone telephone.
When you're ready to verify your number, click the link provided in the email you received from Google AdSense. This link will bring you to the Phone Verification Setup page, from which you'll be able to initiate the call or set a convenient time for our system to call you. Have your PIN ready - the number of PIN entry attempts is limited.
Most publishers I have spoken with did not go through the phone verification process. Many publishers live overseas and do not have numbers that would work with this system. And many do not want Google to have their phone number (that I do not understand). Anyway, it was pulled and I know Google's AdSense Rep reads the threads at DigitalPoint, so maybe that is the reason. It is no longer used, people dislike it being there, so just pull it.
Forum discussion at DigitalPoint Forums.