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RIM changes tune on employee calls

BlackBerry maker says CIO's earlier comments about recording employee telephone conversations were misunderstood. "RIM does not record employee phone calls," says representative.

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has sought to clarify what it claims is confusion over whether the company records all employee telephone conversations in the interest of maintaining control over intellectual property.

RIM CIO Robin Bienfait
Research In Motion CIO Robin Bienfait Research In Motion

During a visit to Sydney in early March, RIM Chief Information Officer Robin Bienfait said that all actions carried out on RIM's internal network were logged, meaning some employees may want their own private handset if they wanted to have personal conversations. "Everything. I record everything," she said.

But a RIM spokesperson, in a follow-up statement, said Bienfait's comments had been misunderstood.

"Robin Bienfait's comments were intended to describe a capability that exists with RIM's BlackBerry MVS technology that 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," they wrote.

"Ms. Bienfait did not intend to suggest that RIM itself records employee phone calls...I have now confirmed that RIM does not record employee phone calls."

The spokesperson said RIM had deployed an internal beta test of the MVS technology to a subset of employees, and claimed Bienfait had intended to convey that RIM was recording data that was transmitted over voice channels (e.g., SMS messages) as well as data channels (e.g., e-mail messages and instant-messaging sessions).

However, the spokesperson said RIM was not recording the phone calls of the employees involved in the beta test or any other employees.

Renai LeMay of ZDNet Australia reported from Sydney.