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The European Union’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and similar initiatives by other national regulators are intended to protect the privacy of consumers and to ensure that organisations are prevented from retaining user data without the consent of the individuals concerned. There has been considerable media interest of late in perceived abuses of consumer data by some of the Internet giants, and legislation protecting consumer privacy is generally highly popular with citizens.

In contrast to the Internet companies, mobile network operators have never had a public relations issue with data privacy, but the new regulations apply equally to them. This has created concerns within mobile operators about how they can continue to legitimately use limited access to subscriber data in order to provide the best possible levels of service to their subscribers, as well as protecting them from external fraud and privacy threats.

SMS Spam control is one area where operators have genuine business and duty-of-care reasons for accessing subscriber data, in this case using technology to filter out undesirable messages before they are delivered. If uncontrolled, spam and illegal A2P routing on SMS and other mobile messaging channels would present a real threat to subscriber security and operator revenues. Subscribers place a very high degree of trust in information they receive via SMS, and it is critical that this channel remains protected. Operators need to find ways that they can protect subscribers without compromising on privacy. This includes ensuring that sensitive subscriber data and message contents never leaks outside of their network.

Openmind’s Content Control solution consists of an in-network deployed intelligent machine-learning “black box” that has been pre-trained to automatically recognize the difference between A2P and P2P traffic based on content analysis by a neural network. This “black box” is updated on a regular basis by Openmind’s managed services team with the details of reported spam and new forms of A2P detected elsewhere. Content Control can be integrated with an existing SMS Firewall using the standard Diameter protocol. A GUI is provided to allow a local administrator update Spam settings based on new message types trapped in-network by the system. In this way the system can be kept continuously up to date and at the same time no subscriber data leaves the network.

With Content Control, we believe we have found the right balance between providing operators with a highly effective means of defending their networks against spam and uncontrolled A2P while at the same time respecting subscriber privacy and adhering to GDPR regulations. Contact us today to learn more about how we can protect you and your subscribers with equal care.

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