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Blackphone – the Android smartphone that aims to place privacy and security above all else – is to open a privacy focused app store to rival the Google Play marketplace, according to Forbes.
Launching in January, the Blackphone app store will stock applications that conform to the smartphone’s principals of security and privacy, paying close attention to invasive requirements some apps demand, such as location and behavioral data that could be sent to advertisers.
“We need to make sure there is a measure of confidence that if you go off and get an app that claims it does A, B and C that it not only does that but only does that,” said Blackphone CEO Toby Weir-Jones, explaining why he believes an alternative to Google Play is necessary.
“We’ll have a few degrees of vetting. We’ll validate that the apps will do what they intend – call it the Apple model. If you have an app to manage your social media accounts and it wanted access to your microphone and your camera we might ask why and get on a first screening.”
Speaking to The Guardian, Weir-Jones explained the limitations of the upcoming Blackphone app store, explaining that it won’t be ‘mass-market’, with no games or bespoke versions of social networking apps. “We’re much more interested in a private marketplace with quality apps with things that have a broad alignment with our privacy and security focus,” he explained.
CNET notes the Blackphone doesn’t currently include access to the Google Play store, only offering the Amazon app store as a more curated alternative. Forbes speculates that another battle may be on the horizon, as there’s no guarantee that Google will allow the Blackphone app store software on the Play marketplace for wider take-up. We’ll know more in January 2015 when the Blackphone app store is ready for release.
Author Alan Martin, ESET