Reports from London Raise Questions about RIM’s Privacy Policies
- Understand the laws governing data privacy and freedom of speech, including hate speech, in the jurisdictions where the company operates.
- Have clear policies in place to identify the circumstances in which the company will disclose user information or place restrictions on free speech. These guidelines should include the requirement of a legal process and a commitment to interpret government demands and jurisdiction in ways that minimize their impact on users’ freedom of expression and privacy.
- Inform users of the circumstances in which their data will be turned over to third parties or their communications will be censored.
This is not the first time that RIM has drawn scrutiny for its policies on disclosure of encrypted messages. Earlier this year, it was reported that several governments – including India, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – requested that RIM provide access to encryption information for its messaging service as a condition of doing business there. To date, RIM has not explained how it addressed those requests. Human Rights First notes that RIM could avoid ongoing questions about its commitment to user privacy by adopting the steps outlined above, and could strengthen its commitment to user privacy and freedom of expression by joining the Global Network Initiative, a multi-stakeholder initiative to help private sector actors protect the freedom of expression and privacy rights of users in the face of government demands.