Can the Blackphone really help protect your privacy?
The Blackphone, a mobile handset being developed by the Spanish startup Geeksphone and US-based security company Silent Circle, claims that it can protect your privacy and prevent your data from falling into the hands of hackers and eavesdroppers. Can it possibly live up to its promise? Let us take a closer look.
With all the privacy and security concerns the average American encounters when making calls, sending text messages and/or browsing the web, protecting your privacy and personal data takes center stage. And this is precisely why the Blackphone was created.
Taking a Closer Look at the Blackphone
The Blackphone is powered by 2 GHz quad-core system on chip (SoC) and has a full set of premium features. It has a 4.7" high density In-Plane Switching (IPS) screen which is commonly found in high-end monitors, 2GB double data rate type three synchronous dynamic random access memory (DDR3 RAM) which enables higher bandwidth or peak data rates as compared to its predecessor, and 16GB of storage.
The Blackphone also features the following:
• Evolved High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA+), a technical standard for wireless, broadband telecommunication capable of delivering data rates of up to 168 Megabits per second (Mbit/s) to the mobile device and 22 Mbit/s from the mobile device
• Long Term Evolution (LTE), a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals, which provides peak download rates up to 299.6 Mbit/s and upload rates up to 75.4 Mbit/s
• 8 megapixel (MP) primary camera with flash and 1.3MP front camera
• Bluetooth 4.0
• 802.11n WiFi
• Global positioning system (GPS)
However, the main feature of this new smartphone revolves around privacy and security. It is powered by PrivatOS, a special, privacy-oriented version of Android, which addresses a number of security flaws and provides greater control over the information collected by third-party apps. It also comes with a full suite of privacy-enabled applications which includes the following:
• Silent Circle suite of apps (Silent Phone, Silent Text, and Silent Contacts)
• Anonymous search, private browsing, and virtual private network (VPN) from Disconnect
• Secure cloud file storage from SpiderOak
• Smart WiFi Manager
• Remote swipe
According to its developers, users can make encrypted phone calls, send encrypted texts and browse the web anonymously with the Blackphone but it is still far from being NSA-proof.
The Blackphone was unveiled Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February 2014 and would start shipping in June with a price tag of $629. So, if you are concerned about your privacy, you may want to give the Blackphone a try.