Goodbye Phones, Hello Security

BlackBerry, traditionally known for their phone line, is moving away from the phone creation department and focusing more on security. Their CEO, John Chen, is the embodiment of that philosophy. “I’m amazed how each and every one of us are willing to give up what’s most valuable that we have, which is our data, in exchange for convenience.” said Chen. He even refuses to turn on GPS services on his BlackBerry device. That’s the core thought for their new initiative. BlackBerry is launching a security credential management service, SCMS, designed for smart cities and transportations services in order for autonomous vehicles to securely communicate with infrastructure.

A More Secure Autonomous Society

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“BlackBerry is addressing this need by making available today, with no service fees to automakers and public offices involved in smart city and connected-vehicle pilots, a SCMS service which provides the mechanism for vehicles and infrastructure, such as traffic lights, to exchange information in a trustworthy and private manner using digital certificates,” BlackBerry’s press materials said.

Chen sees security as a societal need. People need it. Cars need it. Cities need it. The SCMS service is tailored for cities and car companies, aimed at securing smart cities systems and autonomous vehicles. For example, a communication example would be a traffic light sending information to a vehicle and its driver that it will turn green in 10 seconds. The service is free. BlackBerry isn’t huffing and puffing hot air, that is the level of commitment that this company has for security.

 

BlackBerry isn’t shipping this out worldwide without any testing. It’s first going to be testing with Invest Ottawa. They have collaborated to build a 16km track built to resemble a miniature city. It’s easy to build direct comparisons to Google, given BlackBerry’s plans. When asked about this connection Chen had this to say: “...I think we’re just doing things that they would rather not do for free.” Chen views Google as a company that values information as something that has a monetary value.

Secure Implementation

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BlackBerry doesn’t view information as something monetary. Especially, when new systems, such as this SCMS, are taken into account. “Everything we do, from encrypting your messages to delivering it, storing it, we never used your data, unlike a lot of different companies that unfortunately had a lot of higher market caps. You know, you are their product, because your data is their product. We don’t do anything to touch your data,” Chen said.

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