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Blackphone wants to address security issues

26 February 2014, 12:02Duncan Alfreds

Barcelona - More people are becoming concerned about their data falling into the hands of US spy agencies - even if they have nothing to hide.

That's the word from Blackphone, and the company has moved to address security issues with its smartphone.

The Blackphone looks like an ordinary smartphone from the outside, but has a number of features that make it unique.

"You can never say that something is 100% secure. There is nothing that is 100% secure in the world; if someone is saying this to you, they are lying," Blackphone vice president of Engineering David Puron told News24.

He argued that people were getting tired of having to hand over personal data to corporations, especially as social networks increase their reach.

Facebook recently announced a $19bn takeover of chat application service WhatsApp and many have expressed concern that it may give the Silicon Valley giant an opportunity to mine personal data of users not yet on the globally popular social network of more than one billion users.

Unique flavour

"That's going to be changing. If you asked three years ago if anyone was concerned about security, no-one cared. If you asked today, probably 20% to 30% will be concerned. That's going to be increasing," said Puron.

While it runs Android, the company has created its own flavour of the popular operating system with an emphasis on security.

The Blackphone's philosophy is so focused on security that Puron insisted on hiding passwords - even in a demonstration at the Mobile World Congress for News24.

Puron said that the company would sell the Blackphone for $629 and that the device appeals to ordinary people, not just those who may have state secrets that have to be kept safe.

"What I can tell you is that we have millions of visitors to the website - they are normal people, not CEOs, nor presidents - they just don't want to give their information to Facebook and Google, but they don't have the ability."

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