Silent Circle and Geekphone collaborated in developing the Blackphone with main objective of putting back users in control of their data.
Blackphone to monitor apps to ensure user’s privacy
In an interview with the Guardian, Toby Weir-Jones, CEO of Blackphone emphasized that they will ensure the privacy and security of users by monitoring the apps.
According to him, “We’ll have a few degrees of vetting. We’ll validate that the apps will do what they intend – call it the Apple model. If you have an app to manage your social media accounts and it wanted access to your microphone and your camera we might ask why and get on a first screening.”
Some apps were caught using leaky permission systems to snoop on users. The apps obtained access to the unconnected features of smartphones including an Android torch app that silently shares a user’s location and device data to advertisers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigated the issue and imposed a penalty against the app developer.
Blackphone more interested in operating a private marketplace
Weir-Jones emphasized that Blackphone currently has no intention to launch a mass-market app store. He said, “But we’re not intending to replicate a mass-market app store right now. We’re not going to do games or have our own versions of social network apps.”
According to him, they are more interested in opening a private marketplace that offers quality apps that are broadly align with their focus on privacy and security. Weir-Jones added, “We want to… reach a wider audience that cares about usability, that cares about intuitive use as well as privacy benefits.”
At present, the users of Blackphone purchases apps on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). Although Blackphone’s operating system was based on Android, it does not have access to Google’s Play store.
Blackphone will also introduce Spaces, a new software that allows users to separate their personal and work data on their phones. The software was developed by Graphite Software.
The launching of a privacy-focused app store and Spaces are part of the continued initiative of Blackphone to attract corporate users. “We need to do a better job as an industry at removing the excuses for not using secure and private software,” said Weir-Jones.