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BlackBerry Ltd CEO Says Tim Cook Puts Apple Inc. Above “Greater Good”

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BlackBerry Ltd ,  is failing in the hardware market but at least, in its own eyes at least, the firm can hold its head up high and stand as some sort of paragon in moral terms. CEO John Chen wrote a blog post lambasting Apple Inc.  for taking the wrong path to protecting user data.

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That path, in the view of Mr. Chen, veers in the wrong direction when it seeks to protect that data from the State. Mr. Chen said in his post that Apple “recently refused a lawful access request in an investigation of a known drug dealer because doing so would ‘substantially tarnish the brand.'” In his view Tim Cook was morally in the wrong for taking that decision.

BlackBerry won’t protect you fully

The BlackBerry PRIV, and the firm’s security systems in general, are sometimes criticized for not keeping user data quite as secure as it could The PRIV runs on Alphabet Inc OS Android, limiting what Waterloo can really do to keep users safe. That means that using a PRIV, much like using any other Android device, results in huge amounts of information being transmitted, possibly against the will of the user.

It’s not those failings that BlackBerry is addressing with this blog post, however, and indeed that’s not something the firm seems to want to address at all. Instead Mr. Chen seems to want to portray Apple Inc. as taking the wrong route to secure privacy for its users.

In the view of the CEO Apple is morally wrong to refuse police access to its devices. In his words “our privacy commitment does not extend to criminals.”

Apple is a private giant

Apple appears to be betting that keeping user data private will endear people to its brand in the long term. The firm still takes lots and lots of data in order to build ads for those using its app store, and Apple Inc. is by no means perfect on the privacy front. Other firms, like Alphabet Inc  are wholly worse, however.

Tim Cook appears to be betting that he can paint Apple as the most privacy-conscious firm in the market, and secure the trust of millions of people as a result.

Mr. Chen, though his goal appears to be the same, has taken the opposite approach. The BlackBerry Ltd  business plan depends on the firm being able to sell huge numbers of devices and services to bodies like the FBI.

There are two major approaches to defending the kind of security that Apple has put on its devices. The first is that putting a backdoor int he system for the FBI would leave a hole for others to find. The second is that users have a right to privacy from their government. It seems that Mr. Chen is addressing the second argument here, but leaving the first aside.

Even in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA spying a huge amount of people support monitoring of electronic communications. Crime and terrorism, two of the things people fear most, are greater worries to them than the privacy of those around them.

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