BlackBerry CEO: It's a 'social responsibility' to give police data in some cases

WATERLOO, Ont. -- BlackBerry's chief executive John Chen says he stands by a controversial blog post he published earlier this week that outlines when he'd be willing to hand private customer information over to law enforcement.

See Full Article

The CEO of the Waterloo, Ont.-based company was taken to task by technology websites and commentators over what some deemed as hypocrisy coming from the leader of a brand that pledges security and privacy.

Without pointing Apple out by name on Tuesday, Chen slammed a recent update to Apple's operating system which makes it impossible for the company to unlock the devices, even if there's a search warrant for a criminal investigation.

Talking with reporters on Friday, after BlackBerry released its latest financial results, Chen said he wasn't fazed by the backlash.

"I strongly believe that if there are bad elements out there trying to harm society, for one reason or another... it's our social responsibility to help," he said.

He also offered some more insight into his post -- highlighting a "longstanding policy" established at BlackBerry before his arrival two years ago, which outlines when the company would be willing to give access to police under a court order.

"We are going to be able to provide your location, who's called who, and all of the metadata around that," he said in a roundtable with reporters.

But he emphasized that BlackBerry wouldn't give authorities a user's specific texts or other communication.

"The data itself is safe because we never have it," he said. "We never save the content."

Data and device encryption has become an hot topic for hardware and software companies in recent years as they weigh the privacy rights of citizens against the possibility their technology is being used by terrorists and criminals to communicate.

Last month, BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB) said it would uphold a promise to shutter its operations in Pakistan rather than accept an overarching demand by the government to give it "unfettered" access to the BlackBerry servers.

BlackBerry has set a deadline of Dec. 30 to make the decision. A spokeswoman for the company did not respond to requests for an update on the process.

On Friday, BlackBerry reported its latest quarterly results which showed it was getting a boost from its software division as phone sales slipped again.

After adjustments, BlackBerry lost US$15 million or three cents per share, far less than the loss of 14 cents per share expected by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters.

Revenue slightly improved to US$557 million, helped by the results of a software company it recently acquired.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Wynne: Ontario auto sector concerned about U.S. trade

    Economic CBC News
    Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says leaders of the province's auto sector have told her trade with the U.S. is their top concern. Wynne, who met with several industry leaders in Toronto on Friday, says her government has been lobbying U.S. Source
  • It may be approved, but analysts skeptical Keystone XL will be built

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY - U.S. President Donald Trump has given TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) their long awaited presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, but analysts still aren't counting on it getting built. The company still faces a long list of permits and approvals before it can start construction, especially in Nebraska where a state commission isn't expected to rule on the project until the end of the year. Source
  • Ski-Doo maker BRP posts stronger Q4 results

    Economic CBC News
    The company that makes Ski-Doos, Sea-Doos and Spyders is reporting a stronger-than-expected fourth quarter. BRP Inc. of Valcourt, Que., had $136.6 million or $1.22 per share of net income in its fourth-quarter ended Jan. 31. That compares with a year-earlier loss of $28.7 million or 25 cents per share in the comparable period last year. Source
  • Kraft Heinz lays off 200 workers in Canada, U.S.

    Economic Toronto Sun
    PITTSBURGH — Kraft Heinz Co. has laid off 200 white-collar workers in Canada and the United States. Michael Mullen, the company’s senior vice-president of corporate and government affairs,, says the company is realigning its administrative functions to be more efficient. Source
  • Kraft Heinz lays off 200 white-collar workers in Canada, U.S.

    Economic CTV News
    PITTSBURGH -- Kraft Heinz Co. has laid off 200 white-collar workers in Canada and the United States. Michael Mullen, the company's senior vice-president of corporate and government affairs,, says the company is realigning its administrative functions to be more efficient. Source
  • Twitter exploring subscription-based version for first time

    Economic CBC News
    Twitter Inc. is considering whether to build a premium version of its popular Tweetdeck interface aimed at professionals, the company said on Thursday, raising the possibility that it could collect subscription fees from some users for the first time. Source
  • Keystone XL: A chronological look at the controversial pipeline project

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY - Since TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) first proposed the 1,897-kilometre Keystone XL pipeline, the project has been studied, stalled, slammed and hyped -- all amid political pressure from interests on all sides of the debate. Source
  • Samsung shareholders welcome stock price gains, rue scandals

    Economic CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- Shareholders of Samsung Electronics praised the company Friday for big gains in its share price while lamenting its involvement in a massive corruption scandal that brought the arrest of the company's de facto leader. Source
  • Inflation rate cools to 2% in February

    Economic CBC News
    Canada's inflation rate was two per cent in February, a slight cooldown from January's level. Statistics Canada reported Friday that if the impact of gas prices is stripped out, the cost of living increased by 1.3 per cent in the year to February. Source
  • Canada's inflation rate dips 2.0 per cent in February: StatsCan

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The pace of inflation in Canada ticked lower in February as higher prices for gasoline were offset in part by lower costs for fresh fruit and vegetables. Statistics Canada says the consumer price index rose 2.0 per cent on a year-over-year basis in February. Source