RIM listens to employee’s private calls UPDATED

ZDNet Australia is reporting about RIM listening to employee’s phone calls. The news comes from an interview with RIM chief information officer Robin Bienfait, where she said that

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion admitted yesterday that it recorded all employee conversations in the interest of maintaining control over intellectual property.

RIM chief information officer Robin Bienfait, during an interview with ZDNet.com.au in Sydney, said that all actions carried out on RIM’s internal network were logged, which meant that people who wanted to carry out private conversations might want to bring in personal devices.

“Everything I have that’s on RIM is recorded and retained as RIM. So if they want to have a chat with somebody and it’s not a chat that’s within RIM’s domain, then they may want their own personal device,” she said.

When asked exactly whether it was conversations, rather than just written information she kept tabs on, Bienfait answered: “Everything. I record everything.”

This is obvious to anyone who follows the BlackBerry space because you need to keep leaks and security information under control. RIM goes to great lengths to make sure that it can offer a secure smartphone to its customers and it can’t have people giving out private info.

So although you may think RIM is being Big Brother, it’s an important element in keeping our devices so pro.

Here is a little side rumor - I heard that RIM once tracked down a device leak based on the grain of the desk in the photo that was published on the forums.


[UPDATE: This story is inaccurate in that RIM does not record employee phone calls. Robin Bienfait's comments, which originally appeared in ZDNet Australia, were intended to describe a capability that exists with RIM's BlackBerry MVS technology. This technology allows companies to record both voice and data based conversations, which is particularly useful for RIM's customers in regulated industries that require such ability, but Ms. Bienfait did not intend to suggest that RIM itself records employee phone calls.

RIM has deployed an internal beta test of its latest MVS technology to a subset of employees and Ms. Bienfait intended to convey that RIM was recording data that is transmitted over voice channels (ie. SMS messages) as well as data channels (ie. email messages and IM chat sessions), but RIM is not recording the phone calls of the employees involved in the beta test or any other employees.]

2 Responses to “RIM listens to employee’s private calls UPDATED”

  1. 1 DavidB

    And no doubt every employee when hired and perhaps annually reviewed signs some sort of acknowledgement and its a condition of employment. This really isn’t news, its pretty much standard practice in many industries.

  2. 2 Andrew

    Cool. Now that we know they keep records of everything may I suggest the SEC review the relevant recordings as they look into the stock option backdating fiasco?

Leave a Reply