As indicated by its unequivocal name, the BlackBerry Priv flagship is supposed to be centered on privacy. It turns out, based on reliable customer feedback, the mobile device lacks concern for the privacy of its users.
BlackBerry’s first Android phone – and probably the last of its kind – has been designed with privacy and privilege in mind, according to the company. But it is not an absolute truth altogether.
Privacy can mean a lot of things, and in relation to mobile technology it has its specific scope. Privacy involves the confidential data about your location, for example, or your contacts. Furthermore, privacy means having your personal data, photos and documents secured inside your device’s drive. Having control over these pieces of information is what generally defines privacy.
That is why a recent revelation about BlackBerry Priv’s insecure location data puts the device in stark contrast against what it claims to do. For instance, the Facebook and Twitter apps by default can gain access to a user’s location data. Also, the Skype app has a default permission to gain access to a user’s list of contacts.
It’s not that there is a huge problem with these mobile apps per se having access to our personal data. The trouble here lies in the demonstration of a poor privacy measure in place for BlackBerry Priv. It only confirms that other apps can just as well gain access to these same pieces of data.
We cannot be so sure if these other apps are safe and will do no harm to us. But by default they can also access our data, then there is really a huge problem there.
This poor privacy was revealed by the built-in Priv app dubbed DTEC which is designed to assess the condition of the mobile device. The DTEC app seems to have a not so strong security measure in place. Otherwise, the location and contact information would not have been exposed. Instead of keeping the data about your location and contacts in a safe place, DTEC failed to prevent the Skype, Facebook and Twitter apps from gaining access to it.
As a BlackBerry Priv device owner, you are not given the privilege to change this, so the only option you can resort to is remove these apps from your device, which is quite hard to do since people nowadays use Facebook or Skype more often for communication purposes.
So don’t be misled if BlackBerry Priv is marketed as a privacy-centric device. It is not.