NEW YORK: BLACKBERRY CEO John Chen has said he is "disturbed" by Apple's tough approach to encryption and user privacy, warning that the firm's attitude is harmful to society.
Now, we already know that Chen and Apple don't see eye-to-eye on security. In December, Chen waded into Apple's FBI encryption battle in which the iPhone maker resisted government demands to unlock a device because it would be an "unprecedented step which threatens the security of customers".
Chen remarked: "We are indeed in a dark place when companies put their reputations above the greater good."
Chen was quizzed about his opinion on government requests for user data during BlackBerry's Security Summit in New York this week, and couldn't help mouthing off about the situation.
"One of our competitors, we call it 'the other fruit company', has an attitude that it doesn’t matter how much it might hurt society, they’re not going to help," he said.
"I found that disturbing as a citizen. I think BlackBerry, like any company, should have a basic civil responsibility. If the world is in danger, we should be able to help out."
This doesn't mean that BlackBerry is handing out your information willy nilly, though, and Chen pointed out that a lot of "nonsense" has been reported about the company and its approach to such situations.
"Of course, there need to be clear guidelines. The guidelines we've adopted require legal assets. A subpoena for certain data. But if you have the data, you should give it to them," he said.
"There’s some complete nonsense about what we can and can’t do. People are mad at us that we let the government have the data. It’s absolute garbage. We can’t do that."
What's more, giving a nod to the impending Investigatory Powers Bill, Chen warned that mandatory back doors aren't a good idea either.
"There's proposed legislation in the US, and I'm sure it will come to the EU, that every vendor needs to provide some form of a back door. That is not going to fly at all. It just isn't," he said. µ
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