You’re an OSS expert. Have you heard about GDPR?

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It seems to be gaining momentum as a framework for personal data protection. Various governments have been releasing data protection Acts of their own lately too. At the moment the focus appears to be on data privacy within public bodies, but big business is sure to be required to meet similar demands too.

It hadn’t really dawned on me just how important data privacy was in the world of OSS until a few things clicked into place.

Having worked with data, I’ve worked within privacy frameworks defined by customers and undertaken compulsory training courses on their policies, so I certainly have an awareness of privacy.

Knowing the expanses of data lakes and their ability to connect data dots together means I had an awareness that if you aggregate enough seemingly insensitive data points, you can start getting a more personal viewpoint than policies had allowed. This article from Carl Piva and Sarah Wray of TM Forum compares this aggregation to junk bonds – when you bundle too many bonds with varying risk profiles together, eventually you might not know ‘what’s in the box’.

Margot Robbie explains it here in relation to sub-prime mortgages (language warning).

But it clicked for me when I was doing some research on TM Forum’s API Portal, specifically the Privacy API, and began thinking about what IoT, smart homes, smart cities, connected cars, wearables, etc represent. Privacy becomes a whole lot more important in the design of OSS now. It’s no longer just getting the right people/policy frameworks in place, but designing OSS and data collection with privacy in mind. From the link above, Carl and Sarah are thinking along exactly the same lines!

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2 thoughts on “You’re an OSS expert. Have you heard about GDPR?

  1. Talking of tmform open Apis, apart from their application in the digital services, say onboarding a 3rd party to an IoT service like gourmet coffee vending machine service, or raising a trouble ticket when a vending machine is out of order, etc…how does one apply them to traditional oss transformation projects that a service provider may be undertaking on prem?

  2. Hi Steelysan,
    Interesting and relevant point. Yes, these OpenAPIs (ie available to non-TMForum members) are relatively lightweight aren’t they (at least in comparison to the integration fabrics that a service provider might need to implement)?
    I see it as a means of extending the relevance and subscriber base into non-traditional markets (eg IoT, smart cities, etc), as implied by their current motto, “Connecting Digital Ecosystems.”
    Your question has just made me realise that TM Forum is thinking along the same lines as me, that OSS has to extend beyond just the service provider market to deliver value to a broader community of users (eg to enterprise of all forms). That should’ve been obvious, but it’s only just dawned on me at your prompting!
    Now, to consider your question, “how does one apply them to traditional oss transformation projects that a service provider may be undertaking on prem?” I wonder whether this is in fact a question of them not really being suitable for integrations between systems in a service provider’s OSS suite (or integrations between service providers), but opening up a new world of more lightweight integrations for the DSPs, OTTs and third-party providers to their customers? To use the aircraft carrier analogy that I posed a few years ago (, they’re for the planes, not the boats.
    I’d like to hear others’ opinions on your great questions too Steelysan!!

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