New smartphone tech: Can privacy make a comeback?

1 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Google Adds 8 Carriers To Its Android For Work Partner Ecosystem.

I don’t want any of it. PRIVACY-AWARE PHONE COMPANY Silent Circle has announced that its Blackphone 2 hardware will come with Android for Work features, broad support for enterprise services and a promise of privacy protection and peeking prevention.

As more employees conduct business and personal activities on the same smartphone or tablet, companies are scrambling to figure out how to secure their data. But I search for them so that the next time I open a web page in a meeting or at a coffee shop, the people around me will see follow-up ads offering those three things – and not what I really was shopping for.

Now, the company has finally announced its expansion plans that now includes 40 companies including device manufacturers, application makers and management providers. It gives IT the ability to manage work apps, which are siloed from the rest of the phone, and employees can still put their own private data on the device, which in turn is shielded from IT. Silent Circle’s Blackphone, which encrypts calls, texts and data, is part of a wave of privacy tools that emerged in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations about the US government’s pervasive intelligence gathering. This means, people will be able to turn to their mobile operators to take advantage of Android for Work’s integrated security, management and productivity solutions.

Google points to Samsung devices like the Galaxy S6 as some of the most secure hardware out there, and it’s also highlighting the Blackphone as a good option for those who prioritize privacy above all else. The Blackphone 2 is due to ship this autumn, which should see it released sometime between 23 September and 21 December according to our handy seasons calendar. Indeed, survey after survey says that we’re essentially freaking out about the growing mounds of data about us, and that it’s conspiring to make our privacy so darn alienable.

Silent Circle had created quite a buzz for its ‘Blackphone’ that came with heavy encryption to ensure that your data is safe from malicious minds. It also comes with corporate features for managing employee access to company information as well as Google productivity apps including Gmail, Contacts, Calendar, Docs, Sheets, and Slides. About Silent Circle Silent Circle is a leader in enterprise privacy, delivered through a revolutionary mobile ecosystem of devices, software and services, starting with ZRTP to build a fundamentally different mobile architecture. It’s a significant step forward in Silent Circle’s development which enables us to deliver privacy and security to a broader enterprise customer base, while meeting their need for the wide-ranging apps and services provided by Google.” Google says more than 10,000 businesses, including the World Bank, U.S.

For Google, the partnership is an opportunity to address security concerns that have hampered adoption of its Android mobile operating software in the workplace. Now led by Bill Conner, the former Entrust President and CEO and Nortel President, Silent Circle was co-founded by Mike Janke, former Navy SEAL and security expert; Phil Zimmermann, co-founder of PGP, developer of the ZRTP protocol and 2015 inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame; and Jon Callas, creator of Apple’s whole disk encryption software and Co-founder of PGP Corporation. Corporate information technology managers often view Android devices, which come from a variety of companies, as less secure than devices that are controlled by a single manufacturer such as iPhones or Blackberries, said Tyler Shields, an analyst with the market research firm Forrester. But there can be little doubt that this service solves a real problem for many enterprises, especially if they want to allow their employees to use their own devices. According to specs sheet put up by GSMArena, it has an updated 64-bit octa-core processor in an yet unknown chipset, a 3060mAh battery, microSD card slot, LTE and 3GB of RAM.

The company’s Blackphone 2, the follow-on to the start-up’s groundbreaking Blackphone, hides your personal data and apps from your work stuff, and visa versa. Nonetheless, an association with Google may not be the right type of exposure for a company that prides itself on having zero visibility into its customers’ data. “We debated this quite long and heavily inside the company before we decided to go down with this,” said Dan Ford, Silent Circle’s chief security officer, in an interview.

Last year, what caught everyone’s attention was its alarmist dystopian video, hinting at the ongoing spying controversy that was unleashed courtesy Edward Snowden. These apps, designed with keeping privacy at their core, require the user to connect to the internet using their smartphones or tablets and both parties must have the apps installed in order to keep things private between them. One can not only make secure phone calls and send/receive data, but the device will also ensure that the content stored on the phone is secure from snooping.

To help prevent people from copying movies, for example, a set-top box builder might put a streaming app like Netflix, for example, in a separate container from the USB drive. Whether they know it or not, technologies like these could be a lifesaver for the myriad companies lusting after the vast potential of the Internet of Things.

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