by Al Sacco

BlackBerry’s Android security survey blatantly promos PRIV

May 12, 2016
AndroidConsumer ElectronicsMobile

A new survey meant to gauge Android users' thoughts on security and privacy, commissioned by BlackBerry, offers some interesting takeaways but also reads like an ad for the company's PRIV smartphone.

This morning, BlackBerry released the results of a survey of more than 8,000 U.S. Android smartphone users between the ages of 35 and 54. The company conducted the online research between April 11 and April 13, 2016, using Google’s Consumer Surveys service, which aims to help organizations reach their target audiences for market research, and then solicit what’s supposed to be unbiased information through a third party: Google.

The survey’s most notable findings include the following:

  • Respondents’ two leading “security headaches” were third-parties using their personal data (51 percent), and their phones being stolen or lost (34 percent).
  • The Android users were much less concerned with email hacks (7 percent), texts being read by unknown parties (4 percent) and bad guys listening into phone calls (4 percent).
  • More than half (53 percent) of respondents said both security and privacy are “most important.”
  • Though the majority of Android owners use a PIN (45 percent) or password (41 percent) to protect their devices, half of all respondents believe their smartphones are “only somewhat secure.”
  • Only one of every six users surveyed was aware of Google’s monthly Android security updates.
  • The vast majority of Android users (90 percent) employ only one device for both work and personal communications.

In other words, BlackBerry thinks Android users aren’t paying as much attention to security and privacy as they should.

Some perspective on the survey results, along with additional takeaways:

  • BlackBerry last year released its first Android smartphone, the PRIV [ Find it on Amazon *What’s this?* ]. (Check out my full PRIV review.)
  • The company has since been on an active campaign to differentiate the device from the plethora of Android phones available today, by spotlighting its security strengths.
  • This new survey is the latest in a long line of attempts to draw attention to PRIV’s security prowess — and sometimes not so subtly suggest that its competition doesn’t measure up.
  • The respondent pool’s age group is noteworthy, because it seems to suggest BlackBerry’s target market does not include millennial-age smartphone users or younger; instead, BlackBerry, which presumably set the survey age range, thinks PRIV is best suited for middle-age geezers older folks, who might be more security conscious.

You can learn more about the BlackBerry Android security survey on the company’s Inside BlackBerry blog