Introducing Incoming Message Content and Source Number Redaction

Data privacy is a key concern for every organization that manages or processes third-party personal data such as phone numbers. With GDPR around the corner, data privacy holds more importance today than ever before. In a February blog post about how Plivo is preparing to protect your data we talked about message redaction as one of the key milestones in this journey. Today we’re happy to introduce message redaction for all use cases that involve receiving SMS messages on Plivo phone numbers.

Incoming message content and source number redaction

We’ve introduced an application-level flag to control whether message content and source numbers of incoming messages to Plivo phone numbers should be redacted from Plivo debug logs and databases.

Enabling message redaction for an application causes several changes in Plivo’s behavior:

  1. The content of incoming messages to Plivo phone numbers associated with the application are redacted from all internal Plivo server logs and the debug logs available on the Plivo console.

  2. The last three digits of the source number from which the SMS originated are redacted from all internal Plivo server logs and the debug logs available on the Plivo console.

  3. The last three digits of the source number from which the SMS originated are redacted from the message detail record (MDR) generated for the message. Fetching MDRs for such messages will return redacted source numbers.

Message redaction is disabled for all existing Plivo applications by default, but you can enable it from the Messaging > Applications page of the Plivo console or by using application APIs.

Configuring message redaction for Plivo applications

On the console, select an application and toggle the Redact Incoming Messages box to turn redaction on and off.

In the API, you can use the log_incoming_messages attribute of the Application resource to enable or disable message redaction. When creating a new Application, set the log_incoming_messages attribute to false in the Create Application API request to enable message redaction. The default value for this attribute is true, which means that message redaction is disabled unless you explicitly enable it.

You can enable or disable message redaction for an Application by using the Update Application API.

Impact of message redaction on payload to message URL

Message redaction offers our customers control over message details that may be logged in Plivo systems for debugging purposes.

If an Application has a message_url configured, Plivo will attempt to post the non-redacted message content and the non-redacted source number to it.

For enhanced security, we recommend our customers configure secure HTTPS endpoints for their message URLs.

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