BlackBerry 10 is known for its deep commitment to the privacy of its users. No operating system on the planet, offers deep granular controls to its users in order to restrict the applications. The motivation of Facebook and WhatsApp seems suspect in light of their decision to “dump” the platform claiming it doesn’t offer incremental improvements as it moves towards focusing on other “popular platforms”.
Are these applications really important? Yes and No.
Yes, because of the network effect. WhatsApp is primarily a SMS replacement application that uses your cellular data. This means it is a stunted version of what an Instant Messaging application ought to be. By default, it uses your contact list to populate the users to chat with. This makes it a privacy nightmare since the users are easily susceptible for stalking and other privacy insults. Despite the ability to block, the user can easily be harassed. Its surprising that people choose WhatsApp and refuse to look at alternatives. Bulk of users, find privacy issues restrictive and anachronistic, to their work flow. Their redundancy is what makes it difficult to shift them to a better alternative i.e. BBM.
No, because they are pretty useless in terms of optimizing granular work flow and lack of proper end to end encryption making it useless for regulated industries and compliance. All the more these applications are focused on gathering user data to the maximal extent, such as location, time stamps of messages and running deep searches using algorithms to understand what users are sharing. Miffed with the growing popularity of a rival WhatsApp clone, WhatsApp blocked the access to Telegram in the link sharing and thus censoring the free access of information. This is the monopolistic abuse of dominant position. People (and media) don’t realize that it is harmful for free and federated means of communication in the long run.
The less said about Facebook, the better. Being one of the largest centralized corporations that feeds on user data, this is privacy violated on a massive scale. People don’t realize that safer alternatives to these networks exist- its BBM (BlackBerry Messenger). This is safe, secure, private and easy.
Just set up your BlackBerry ID through your email, confirm it, and sign in with the username and password. Simple. You can invite contacts through email, SMS or just hand over your BBM PIN. Most of us at UTB have our custom PIN’s and we have even started out a movement called as “PING ME”. You give out your custom PIN alone, instead of the phone number and have people sign up and PING you.
These apps don’t really matter- what matters is the change in our outlook for our privacy. It’s heartening that BlackBerry genuinely cares for the users and is fighting back, in addition to reiterating its own commitment for the most secured platform.
Use BBM. Be safe!