In the past few years smartphones have been broadly adopted and are being used as a key entry point to the Internet by many consumers (Smith, 2015). Concerns about privacy have also increased, as more and more personal data is being put out on the Internet and available for multiple parties. One company that is devoted to address mobile privacy concerns is Silent Circle, which is the manufacturer of the Blackphone.
This Blackphone is promoted as one focused on privacy, which is achieved through a custom Android-based operating system called Silent OS, and applies various methods such as encrypted communication, peer-to-peer negotiation and VPN support to guarantee the privacy of its users. It is mostly targeted towards enterprises, and not necessarily to individual consumers. BlackBerry is another smartphone manufacturer that is often renowned for its security of the platform. Tech sites such as Gizmodo have already made bold claims about the Blackphone 2 being the most secure smartphone out (Lynch, 2015). The two companies have been exchanging blows about the security and credibility of each other’s platform (Smith, 2014).
While the Blackphone was intended to be the most secure device, at the DefCon hacking conference hackers were able to find two exploits that gave them access to critical system processes (Rahul, 2014). Blackberry phones used to be the standard for enterprise, the current standard has already shifted. Currently we see an increase of iOS and Android market share, even in the corporate environment. As the public has taken an interest in security, each manufacturer is working to make the platform as secure as possible.
What does the future of companies like Silent Circle look like if even phones made specifically to guarantee its users’ privacy can be cracked? An overview of criteria and their priority for managers should aid in determining the future of such phone manufacturers. It will be interesting to see whether companies will select phones that specifically focus on security.
Lynch, G. (2015). Blackphone 2 Is Probably the World’s Most Secure Smartphone. Gizmodo. Retrieved 14 October 2015, from http://gizmodo.com/blackphone-2-is-probably-the-worlds-most-secure-smartph-1688857610
Rahul, R. (2014). ‘Most Secure’ Android Phone Hacked at DefCon Hacking Conference. International Business Times UK. Retrieved 14 October 2015, from http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/most-secure-android-phone-hacked-defcon-hacking-conference-1460821
Sage, S. (2014). Blackphone fires back: ‘BlackBerry betrayed its customers and jettisoned its credibility’. CrackBerry.com. Retrieved 14 October 2015, from http://crackberry.com/blackphone-fires-back-blackberry-our-approach-more-flexible
Smith, A. (2015). U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015. Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. Retrieved 14 October 2015, from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/01/us-smartphone-use-in-2015/