Privacy is indeed a fundamental human right and we have given it up so easily. As had been earlier pointed out, we do find it difficult to fathom the people’s compulsion to put up everything for grabs. They are just ID’s reduced for algorithmic crunching, eliminating their own existence. The smartphone has made connectivity easier; without any doubts but brought in new moral and ethical dimensions that we are not able to comprehend their liabilities completely.
Facebook (and whatsapp) have tweaked their privacy policies over the period of time to the detriment of the users. For them, they believe that it is just a minor nuisance. The charade of media perpetuating this has become nauseating; its difficult to separate the signal from the noise. Although, they have been warned, but users tend to go with the “acceptable risks” of connectivity than privacy.
The common thread here is that no smartphone manufacturer has ever placed the user privacy before hand except BlackBerry. We the users of BlackBerry 10 had in app permissions and ingrained security right from the outset. Granted, this upset a lot of tinkerers who couldn’t root the device or overclock the CPU’s but they are inconsequential. The people who benefitted were users who got a superior product right out of the box. BlackBerry slowly opened up the API’s and as the platform matured, so did the bulk of the applications. An average Joe couldn’t understand that you don’t need applications for email! These customisations were built in and baked in the OS instead.
Likewise, it was a business case decision to devote resources to have Android powered handset. The community had been split but several BlackBerry 10 power users were clearly anticipating the launch of Priv and were amongst the first user adopters. They found noticeable improvement in the Android implementation with mating of BlackBerry Experience Suite coupled with several deep surgical incisions made on the code base to make it secure and plug the app-gap deficiency. As Priv rolls out across major geographies, its garnering rave reviews, even from the fence sitters and erstwhile detractors.
What has changed in the interim? Privacy, as the central theme that has made all the difference. BlackBerry Priv (indeed the name adapted from Priv-acy) focused on user scenario and made a simple interface to indicate the security of the device. This was facilitated by giving the user an adequate control in order to safeguard them. In addition, DTEK ensured that malicious apps (indeed whatsapp is malicious) are exposed in their entirety to display how they access your location, contacts lists and even microphone in your absence.
Which other smartphone gives that unprecedented control to the user? No one.
BlackBerry Priv offers the best of usability (in terms of Hub implementation)/ superior battery life and privacy (including connectivity) with gradual roll out of fixes, if needed. I am personally awaiting to own one to evaluate how it stands up currently to my daily driver- the BlackBerry Passport.