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

  • How Sears' troubles could hasten radical change in Canada's malls

    Economic CBC News
    Sears' plan to shut down 59 of its locations is grim news for the chain's landlords across Canada. Could it also spell doom for the nation's neighbourhood malls? Anchor tenants — typically big department stores — have always been a critical component of mall design. Source
  • Proposed rules for CRA amnesty program could expose more tax-cheat advisers

    Economic CBC News
    The Canada Revenue Agency is tightening its amnesty program for tax cheats, including a proposed rule that could expose more of the shady advisers who set up dodgy tax schemes to help clients hide their money. Source
  • Italian PM 'guarantees' savers' accounts in 2 troubled banks

    Economic CTV News
    ROME -- Italy's premier says holders of accounts in two troubled Italian banks will have their savings guaranteed despite insolvency proceedings. Premier Paolo Gentiloni was referring to Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza, each struggling with unpaid loans. Source
  • Forget the poop scooping: who will pay the bills for your pet?

    Economic CBC News
    The scene is so common, it's cliché: Your adorable child looks longingly into your eyes, begging for a pet. You somehow navigate the emotionally fraught minefield of cat vs. dog. Then it's time to talk chores. Source
  • 'Eventually, many will run out': How an LCBO strike could impact restaurants and bars

    Economic CBC News
    A long drawn-out strike by liquor store workers could have a significant impact on Ontario's restaurants, wine importers, bars and consumers — but it may offer a boon to some local wineries. "Eventually, many [restaurants and bars] will run out, if not all, if it goes into a month, two months," said Tony Elenis, president and CEO of the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association. Source
  • Ivanka Trump ordered to testify in dispute with shoe company

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Ivanka Trump must testify in a dispute with an Italian shoemaker over one of her company's shoe designs, a judge said Friday. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest rejected a request by the senior White House aide's lawyers that she be blocked from submitting to a deposition in the trademark infringement lawsuit brought by Aquazzura Italia SRL against her and her company IT Collection LLC. Source
  • Cooling measures already affecting hot Toronto housing market: survey

    Economic CTV News
    The recent intervention by the Ontario government to cool the Toronto-area’s hot housing market is already having an impact on sellers and buyers plans for the year, according to a new poll. At the end of April, Ont. Source
  • Why is the American teen summer job disappearing? [Video]

    Economic Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon’s Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie “The Shining,” where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheque. He was a busboy. The job didn’t pay much. But Doyle quickly learned lessons that served him for years as he rose to become the CEO of Domino’s, the pizza delivery giant: Source
  • Waiting for a Canadian housing crash? Warren Buffet bets against it buying 38% stake in Home Capital Group Inc.

    Economic Toronto Sun
    Warren Buffett's deal to back Home Capital Group Inc. does more than support a struggling mortgage lender -- it's a vote of confidence for a housing market that everyone from investors to global ratings companies say is a bubble ready to burst. Source
  • CIBC looks to generate quarter of earnings from U.S.

    Economic CBC News
    CIBC closed its acquisition of Chicago-based PrivateBancorp on Friday, securing its foothold in the U.S. where CEO Victor Dodig said the bank hopes to one day generate a quarter of its earnings. The Canadian bank now earns roughly five per cent of its profits in the U.S. Source