RIM CIO: "Everything, I record everything"

In an interview with ZDNet Australia, Research in Motion's (RIM, manufacturer of BlackBerry devices) Chief Information Officer, Robin Bienfait, revealed that every type of communication whether it be private call, e-mails, or text messages, made by employees of RIM, is recorded and documented.

It's normal for an employer to record land line calls and oversee e-mail messages, but private calls? Most employees who carry a mobile device that is paid for by their employer also use it for personal and private phone calls. Has RIM violated any law or simply invaded their employees' privacy?

When it comes down to it, RIM is within their legal right to use this type of practice. Bienfait went on to say that, "Everything I have that's on RIM is recorded and retained as RIM. So if they [employees] 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." Bienfait also noted that RIM employees are aware of the surveillance and one reason why the company is going on record about this policy is because everything that employees say can be patented by RIM.

We've learned that RIM is another company that has the access to remotely wipe a device if it is lost or stolen, more specifically exactly like the case we saw when a HTC mobile phone was stolen at MWC 2009 a few weeks back. Like all companies, RIM employees get access to beta versions of upcoming devices. Beinfait said that there have been leaks and lost devices, and they have tracked down the problem and taken corrective action. In the case of a lost or stolen beta device, she couldn't melt it from the sky yet, but would love to.

Just because RIM can does that mean they should? Knowing that every conversation you have whilst at work would be a little nerve racking, and would feel as if one isn't trusted. Is taping every mobile device, land line, and e-mail message necessary?

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