Blackphone App Store: Staying off the Grid Part 2

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The creators of the privacy focused smartphone Blackphone have announced the release of a privacy focused app store, launching January 2015, to go head-to-head with Google Play. Will it attract that much interest? Or is it merely a way to make a statement?

Mark James spoke about the Blackphone itself back in this blog post. Since then we have seen a few more significant breaches and changes to various privacy policies.

I asked Mark what he thought of the up and coming app store.

Do you think adoption rates will be high?

“I think it will generate some interest but I don’t think it will take on a high number of adopters. The lack of content will be its downfall, it has a place and is a good idea but it will only ever just be a good idea with some people using it.”

With all the news of “privacy breaches” will more layman use the store?

“I think not, as I said the lack of content will keep the average user well away. Even now when we hear of big app manufacturers facing security breaches it still only causes a small impact on people using those apps. If someone wants to use the app they will download it regardless of how safe or secure it is, being in with the crowd will always overrule safety and sometimes usability.”

Will the potential competition push Apple and Google to tighten up their vetting process/ privacy?

“They should always be reviewing the apps being made available to the public, it’s in their interest to do this but I don’t think this will force them to do anything they are not already doing. It’s such a massive game changer for them if things go wrong so privacy is a big concern and will continue to be monitored and improved on a very high level, sadly the majority of malware we see on android and apple stores come from third party app stores in Asia and the Middle East, there is little Android or Apple can do about that.”

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Would you use the store? How concerned about digital privacy are you?