BlackBerry Priv: DTEK (finally) explained


DTEK by BlackBerry
DTEK by BlackBerry

When the latest round of images of the BlackBerry Priv were released, one of the icons shown on the Priv’s home screen engendered a lot of questions on social media: What exactly is ‘DTEK’?

The occasional tidbit of information has leaked out, telling us it’s related to the privacy of Priv users, but today all has been revealed in a BlackBerry blog article “Protect your privacy with DTEK from BlackBerry”. Here’s the low-down:

Each BlackBerry Priv has DTEK installed out-of-the-box, and it is designed to make privacy management simple. It automatically monitors apps and processes in real time to provide a security rating for your device, using an easy to use interface that is simple to understand. DTEK uses BlackBerry’s deep modifications to Android to protect your privacy in three simple steps.

DTEK allows you to track your device’s security, and provides a rating indicating how secure your Priv is: Excellent, Fair or Poor. DTEK also tracks your applications to see whether they:

  • Take pictures or videos without your knowledge
  • Turn your microphone on
  • Send a text message
  • Access your contacts
  • Access your location


Whenever an app accesses sensitive functionality, you’ll see an information notification pop up. These notifications inform you whenever apps access your personal data or things like your Camera or Microphone. You can configure individual notifications, both for each app and for each sensor. You can disable notifications for trusted apps and enable them for others, or you can configure DTEK to always notify you if you’re worried about a particular piece of functionality (your Contacts or Location, for example).

If your Priv’s security rating shows up as Fair or Poor, DTEK can help you to improve it. For example, you can:

  • Enable a screen lock: Protect your Priv with a password, PIN, pattern or Picture Password. This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to protect yourself.
  • Malware protection: Google Play automatically screens for malicious software and potential privacy issues. You can scan for security threats on the device and you can choose to disable unknown sources so that your Priv will only downloads apps from the Google Play store.
  • Factory Reset Protection: If your Priv is stolen, one of the first things the thief will try to do is to reset it to Factory settings to remove the screen lock. Factory Reset Protection ensures that the thief cannot reset the device without your Google account information. This is both an effective theft deterrent, and a good way to make sure that your data isn’t accidentally wiped by someone using your device.

DTEK is just one way that the Priv is shaping up to be the best Android device ever – let us know what you think in the comments!

Jon Hunnings

(Step-)father & husband. I code directly on my #BlackBerry devices, in between blogs! Contact me via Twitter: @BrizBerryDevs or via email:

  • That’s great stuff! I really like how BlackBerry has made it fairly simple too with the red, yellow and green rating scale. It’s also an easy thing to explain and understand, which should bode well for it being a potential pivotal factor in a buying decision at a carrier store.

    This will help put privacy front and center for a lot of people who haven’t thought about it much, in a very straightforward way. Good work BlackBerry!

  • G-bone

    Definitely the best way to Android – BlackBerry!
    Apps? Check!
    Malware? X

  • bartron

    Features like this will really put the Priv way ahead of the rest of the Android phones. I’m increasing my sales estimate for the Priv. :-D

  • Tinioesjunior


    ONE app… Does it ALL!

    It had to be a BlackBerry!