Apple’s Approach to Privacy is Selfish and Misguided, Says BlackBerry Ltd’s CEO

John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), aired his views on Apple’s approach to privacy in a blog post. Chen believes that Apple’s approach to privacy is uncalled for and selfish.

“For many years, authorities have sought help from major tech companies, but their pleas have always fallen on deaf years,” the post stated.

CEO of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Tim Cook, has on many occasions made it clear that Apple holds its approach to privacy dearly. The privacy is one of the things that have made Apple the popular company it is today. The company values the privacy so much that they cannot cooperate with any government agency if they do not have the legal obligation to comply.

But Chen totally disagrees with Cook’s point of view. Chen views this as a publicity stance. “It is a shame when a major tech company denies government agencies help. Recently, one of the largest technology companies refused the government to access lawfully, their systems. The access would have helped in the investigation of a notorious drug dealer,” Chen said in the post. “The reason for the denial was that allowing the access would be spoiling the reputation of the brand. Surely, are companies supposed to value reputation more than the greater good?”

Take a closer look at BlackBerry and you will realize that the company is proud of having one of the most secure operating systems in the world. Barrack Obama, the US president, uses a BlackBerry phone. Other international popular individuals who use BlackBerry phones include former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel, German Chancellor.

Chen, in the blog post, pointed out that BlackBerry was willing to bring the government and major tech companies to the same table. According to him, it is time this whole debate about allowing the government to access certain data ended.

“Companies should stop putting privacy above national security. As BlackBerry, we do not support the idea of denying government agencies to access certain data when national security is the concern,” Chen explained. “Technology companies have a responsibility to help the government fight crime the same way individuals do.”

Whether Chen said this to attack a rival or he meant it is not something that can be determined. However, Chen has a point. The privacy of users is of importance, but at times, companies need to do what they have to do for the greater good. Is not fighting crime the greater good?