Report: RIM to separate personal from work data

Upcoming BlackBerry Balance software is designed to segregate a person's personal data and apps from those used on the job, according to Reuters.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Research In Motion will soon debut software that can segregate the personal from the professional.


Set to launch in two months, the BlackBerry Balance software will be able to separate personal e-mail, apps, and other content from those used on the job, Jeff McDowell, RIM's senior vice president for business and platform marketing, said in a Reuters interview published yesterday.

The goal behind the software is to let BlackBerry owners rely on a single smartphone, so they can use the same device for business and social reasons. IT administrators--concerned about personal devices tapping into their networks--will also be able to manage and secure the corporate side of the phone while leaving the personal side up to the user.

"There are two fundamental use cases on the smartphone--enterprise and personal. The problem is that they are conflicting," McDowell told Reuters.

As an example, people will be able to freely hop onto the Internet and use Facebook and other social-networking sites. But access to corporate e-mail through a BlackBerry Enterprise Server would be controlled by IT, with a virtual wall separating the two sides.

Although BlackBerry owners and IT admins stand to gain, RIM also hopes to benefit from Balance. The BlackBerry maker has slowly been losing its dominance of the corporate market to the wave of iPhone and Android devices pushing their way into the workforce.

Beyond appearing on smartphones, the Balance software will also find a home on RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook, which is due to hit the market as early as February.