by Al Sacco

RIM: We Don’t Record ANY Staff BlackBerry Phone Calls

Mar 06, 20092 mins
IT Leadership

BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) has responded to reports that it records all of its employees’ BlackBerry messaging and phone transmissions, saying such claims are false and that it does not log and retain any of its staffers’ voice communications.

head shot of RIM CIO Robin Bienfait
RIM CIO Robin Bienfait

Yesterday, I offered my take on “news” of RIM’s extensive employee monitoring, which originated from a ZDNet Australia post in which RIM’s CIO Robin Bienfait stated:

“Everything. I record everything.”

However, RIM says the ZDNet article got it wrong: Those statements were taken WAY out of context, and that Bienfait was speaking of a small-scale pilot project in which a number of RIM employees were involved.

From RIM:

“RIM does not record employee phone calls. Robin Bienfait’s comments…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.”

As I stated in my original post, I didn’t think RIM was recording voice transmissions—in fact, I’d heard information to the contrary in the past. That’s why Bienfait’s comments were so surprising to me, and why I decided to write about them in the first place.

However, judging from the wealth of e-mail and other messaged I received after posting, I may have been the only one who was even remotely taken aback by the reports. To all those readers: RIM is not currently recording and keeping records of its employees’ BlackBerry voice calls, according to its public relations team.


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