BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) CEO John Chen has openly criticized Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) security measures and strict stance on privacy.
The Blackberry CEO stated that the encryption measures make sense as far as security is concerned but it also presents some degree of danger to society. Mr. Chen was speaking during the latest security summit that was held in New York. He was specifically commenting on the government’s request for user data to be handed over for security monitoring purposes. Chen, however, did not mention Apple by name directly though it was quite clear what he meant by his statement.
Chen pointed out that the Blackberry rival would have a negative influence on the society if it continues with its “don’t care” attitude. The CEO also stated that his company does not plan to help out in any way regardless of the situation. This has led to questions about Blackberry’s stance on the encryption and privacy violation matter. Apple managed to scoop the win against the FBI in a legal battle fueled by the San Bernardino shooting incident. Numerous tech companies were in support of the iPhone maker but Blackberry seems to be siding with the government on this particular issue.
It is unclear why the Blackberry CEO is siding this way however, since unlocking a single iPhone is simple, speaking from a technical standpoint, and Apple has no problem with that assuming a warrant is issued. What the government wants is access to the whole network so they can monitor anyone who uses an iPhone, and this is what Apple opposes.
Blackberry’s argument suggests that it approves handing over private user information to the government in various situations. Chen described Apple’s decision as disturbing and stated that every firm should be subject to a basic civil duty which it should respond to when called upon by governments. Of course, the CEO was referring to Apple’s failure to grant the FBI backdoor access to an iPhone 5C that is said to have been used by one of the terrorists in the San Bernardino shooting. Apple’s argument is that backdoor access would potentially give the government access to anyone’s iPhone.
Mr. Chen’s stance on the matter was viewed to be unorthodox since his firm has always been considered as secure and data sensitive. The Blackberry CEO further pointed out that handing over data to the relevant authorities should not be condemned as long as there are clear reasons for the data request.