BlackBerry CEO John Chen has waded in on the the question of whether or not Apple is right to refuse to help the government access smartphone data for security purposes.
“For years, government officials have pleaded to the technology industry for help,” Chen wrote in a recent blogpost. “Yet [the requests] have been met with disdain.”
Chen’s position is simple: that, “We are indeed in a dark place when companies put their reputations above the greater good.”
Apple’s privacy stance has become a major selling point in recent years. CEO Tim Cook has said that Apple, “don’t read your emails, we don’t read your messages, we find it unacceptable to do that — I don’t want people reading mine!”
In an interview with the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper, Cook expanded on this by saying: “None of us should accept that the government or a company or anybody should have access to all of our private information. This is a basic human right. We all have a right to privacy. We shouldn’t give it up. We shouldn’t give in to scare-mongering or to people who fundamentally don’t understand the details.”
John Chen, however, does not subscribe to this perspective, and writes of his distaste that, “One of the world’s most powerful tech companies recently refused a lawful access request in an investigation of a known drug dealer because doing so would ‘substantially tarnish the brand.'”
“We reject the notion that tech companies should refuse reasonable, lawful access requests,” he continues. “Just as individual citizens bear responsibility to help thwart crime when they can safely do so, so do corporations have a responsibility to do what they can.”
But BlackBerry’s CEO isn’t just taking shots at Apple for no reason. He argues that BlackBerry is, “in a unique position to help bring the two sides [government and companies] of this debate together.”
Like Apple, BlackBerry has been pushing the security angle in a big way. In particular, it manufactures the BlackBerry Priv handset, the company’s first Android device, which it issues monthly security patches for.
Despite the shared interest in security, though, it seems BlackBerry and Apple’s stances on the controversial topic could not be any more different!
Via: Business Insider