"I strongly believe that if there are bad elements out there trying to harm society, for one reason or another... it's our social responsibility to help," he said. He also offered some more insight into his post — highlighting a "longstanding policy" established at BlackBerry before his arrival two years ago, which outlines when the company would be willing to give access to police under a court order. "We are going to be able to provide your location, who's called who, and all of the metadata around that," he said in a roundtable with reporters. But he emphasized that BlackBerry wouldn't give authorities a user's specific texts or other communication. "The data itself is safe because we never have it," he said. "We never save the content." Data and device encryption has become an hot topic for hardware and software companies in recent years as they weigh the privacy rights of citizens against the possibility their technology is being used by terrorists and criminals to communicate. Last month, BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB) said it would uphold a promise to shutter its operations in Pakistan rather than accept an overarching demand by the government to give it "unfettered" access to the BlackBerry servers.
"The data itself is safe because we never have it," he said. "We never save the content."
BlackBerry CEO John Chen gestures speaks during the BlackBerry Enterprise Portfolio Launch event Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, in San Francisco. (Photo: AP)
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