1. Slash82's Avatar
    Hey friends,

    that's not my opinion!
    It's the opinion of the "Stiftung Warentest"
    First of all: What is the "Stiftung Warentest?"
    Stiftung Warentest THE German consumer organisation and foundation involved in investigating and comparing goods and services.
    It is the biggest organisation of that kind in Germany and most people trust on their independent reports.

    After Facebooks move to buy WhatsApp there is a lot going on in Germany.
    Almost 90% of the smartphone users have a WhatsApp account, which makes the #1 messenger in Germany.
    So, after that deal many people are concerned about what will happen to their personal data and there is a movement going on in searching an alternative messenger.

    That's such a big deal right know that even the "Stiftung Warentest" released a report on that: "WhatsApp and or messengers".
    But then I stumbled about the line with BBM and I was not happy:

    Here is the link to that: Messenger test

    For all of you that don't understand German, here is the translation (best I can):

    Data Protection Rating: very critical

    Data transmission: Whether the BlackBerry Messenger uses an end-to end encryption, could not be verified clearly . At least the iOS version transmits user data but partially unencrypted: first and last name shares the app even with third parties. Also if the user adds data, including message content, BBM transmitted unencrypted . In addition, BBM is sending the users e-mail adress encrypted. The Android version transmits user data, although only encrypted, but much more inquisitive : BBM sents usernames and passwords, first and last name, date of birth, country of origin, the email address and security question and its answer. Both app variants can get access to your address book, but only with the express consent of the user - but they are able to. The Messenger is also used if the user does not agree to the reading of his address book.

    Conditions: In the terms and conditions there are several clauses that are problematic from a consumer perspective . For example, BlackBerry allows to combine the information collected via the messenger with the knowledge about the user from other sources. In this way, the company can create accurate personality profiles and tailor advertising specifically to the users. The right to forward data to third parties is very spacious . Blackberry leaves which information must pass it to whom.

    Transparency: The app is not open-source . Therefore, the tester could not determine what further information they may transfer information in encrypted form. However, that the Messenger of other data sent as the said unencrypted, they were able to rule .

    Availability and Cost: The app of the Canadian company Blackberry is available to the native operating system of the provider , but also with Android and iOS. She is free on all platforms.

    So, that was kinda shocking for me!
    What do you think?
    I hope Blackberry reacts to that - I mean it is not small a website that reports that, it is Germany's biggest institution for consumers!

    After that: BBM is a for no-go MANY Germans. They even laugh about "Blackberry vs. security".
    02-27-14 03:55 AM
  2. pm0001's Avatar
    02-27-14 04:00 AM
  3. Slash82's Avatar
    Oh, thanks! I didn't see that!
    Now my topic might be closed!
    Thank you for that link!
    02-27-14 04:03 AM
  4. badiyee's Avatar
    Its not open sourced, therefore it may be bad.

    /facepalm.

    isn't it the fact that if its closed sourced, people have to work EXTRA HARD to crack it?
    Slash82 likes this.
    02-27-14 05:46 AM
  5. Omnitech's Avatar
    Data Protection Rating: very critical

    Data transmission: Whether the BlackBerry Messenger uses an end-to end encryption, could not be verified clearly . At least the iOS version transmits user data but partially unencrypted: first and last name shares the app even with third parties.

    I don't even know if Blackberry requires full first and last name for a BBID. And I suppose this depends on which third parties we are talking about here.

    For example, if you have to purchase something on BlackBerry World, the credit-card processor or Paypal needs to have your full name. I have no issue with that.


    Also if the user adds data, including message content, BBM transmitted unencrypted.

    I don't know if the fault is the translation, but does this only pertain to something like an uploaded photo? Because Blackberry has long stated that they "scramble" BBM communications, using an algorithm that uses a common key. (Not as secure as full public-key encryption but better than nothing.) Perhaps the reason this has been less of an issue with BBM on BlackBerry is because the data is also passing through a private tunnel and (historically) over the carrier network, not the internet.



    In addition, BBM is sending the users e-mail adress encrypted.

    Did you mean to write UNencrypted there?



    The Android version transmits user data, although only encrypted, but much more inquisitive:

    That's a clumsy translation and I cannot interpret it.



    BBM sents usernames and passwords, first and last name, date of birth, country of origin, the email address and security question and its answer.

    Unencrypted? To where and over what transport?




    Both app variants can get access to your address book, but only with the express consent of the user - but they are able to.


    Whereas most of BBM's competitors require complete and unrestricted access to people's address book, since they rely on phone numbers for user IDs and that is how they help spread the userbase.



    The Messenger is also used if the user does not agree to the reading of his address book.

    I cannot understand this: are you saying that BBM works whether or not you give it permission to access the address book? So why is that a problem then?



    Conditions: In the terms and conditions there are several clauses that are problematic from a consumer perspective . For example, BlackBerry allows to combine the information collected via the messenger with the knowledge about the user from other sources. In this way, the company can create accurate personality profiles and tailor advertising specifically to the users. The right to forward data to third parties is very spacious . Blackberry leaves which information must pass it to whom.

    That sounds like a problem and I hope they correct it.

    I think over the last year or two, Blackberry has shown signs of "Google/Facebook envy" and has tried to tailor themselves to some extent around that business model, hoping to see the same kind of profit that Google has seen from that sort of business model. But personally I think it is a big mistake, and I hope they re-think this.



    After that: BBM is a for no-go MANY Germans. They even laugh about "Blackberry vs. security".

    Whereas WhatsApp is notorious for security vulnerabilities. Rather ironic this claim that Germans are "laughing about Blackberry security", when your government and military adopted Blackberry devices for their highest security applications, including the Chancellor's personal phone after her Samsung was hacked.

    Also: Wall Street vultures are always on the prowl trying to spin the value of their holdings to benefit themselves. I have already seen many examples of this after the WhatsApp/Facebook deal was announced. I advise you to take these sorts of reports with a grain of salt.
    Slash82 likes this.
    02-27-14 07:22 AM
  6. Slash82's Avatar
    Thanks for all your replies!

    First: Just to make sure: This is NOT my opinion - this is, what "Stiftung Warentest" published!
    Even in German it is kinda hard to understand - because many statements are not that clear, as you can see above.

    And @Omnitech: I will give you answers to each paragraph, when I'm back home! Thanks for taking time to answer that!!!

    And yeah, for me it's really frustrating because I (was) trying to convince my friends and people I know to switch to BBM.
    This doesn't make it easier, because they believe more in Stiftung Warentest then in my statements.
    02-27-14 07:31 AM

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