BlackBerry's new privacy alerts vet invasive apps

05 Feb 2013

USA Today, By: Byron Acohido

A new privacy notification service from BlackBerry could help boost smartphone users' privacy.

BlackBerry has begun issuing notices to application developers — and consumers — anytime it finds an app approved for distribution in its BlackBerry World online store that does more than consumers might think.

The Canadian phone maker unveiled its new system for vetting smartphone apps at the Kaspersky Security Summit here. "We believe this is the way forward for the entire mobile ecosystem," Adrian Stone, security director at BlackBerry, told USA TODAY.

The company last week served its initial privacy notices in connection with a caller identification app called NumberBook, created by DEV Engineer. In addition to identifying callers, NumberBook also collects the user's contact list and GPS location, discloses personal phone numbers without asking permission and can send text and e-mail from the user's handset.