Privacy, Security, and User Control: Vital Assets in BBM


Since I came to BlackBerry earlier this year, we’ve been working on making a great tool even better for both consumers and business people. We know that BBM users value privacy and security. We know that messaging apps are the new way people keep in touch — in the office, across town, and around the world. We envision a future where BBM is the gateway to your world, where you interact with your friends, family, favorite brands, shopping outlets, local merchants, and more.

The latest release of BBM brings a set of great new services that provide more privacy options and more control over what you send from your phone. That’s exactly in keeping with our history, our vision, and our strategy.

More Privacy, More Control

Messaging is about communication. In the office, it’s about quick answers, notifications, and approvals. Outside of business hours, it’s about keeping in touch with friends and family, sharing a laugh, and letting people know where we are. Most messaging is 1:1 or few-to-few. It’s not that everything we talk about is top secret, but it is personal and often informal. The self we share at the office is probably different than the one we share at home or among old friends.

That’s why, in our always-on age, where everything we do online leaves a digital footprint, privacy is on our minds more than ever. And it should be.

We did some research earlier this year to learn what our customers were looking for in their mobile messaging. The most important idea to emerge was that people are looking for ways to maintain control over the data on their phones. This latest update includes two great new features to meet that need.

Timed Messages1 and Retraction2

Now, when you share a picture or send a message, you can set a timer to define how long you want the recipients to be able to see it within BBM. It adds an extra layer of protection for private messages, putting you in control of their ultimate fate.

I often wish I had an “undo” feature in more areas of my life — and now I do! Message retraction is another new privacy feature. It gives you the ability to take back something you sent by accident or decided against. The recipient will just see a “message retracted” note.

Leveraging BlackBerry’s Heritage

Some messaging apps treat privacy like a nice-to-have. But at BlackBerry, privacy is in our DNA. We’ve built our reputation on our secure, private operating system that can comply with government regulations, and protect sensitive data for any security-conscious organization.

BBM business users benefit from that heritage in services like BBM Enterprise (formerly known as BBM Protected) and others coming soon as part of the eBBM Suite.

On the consumer side, our proven track record in privacy and security is also what makes BBM a perfect match for mobile commerce and mobile financial services like BBM Money, TransferTo international airtime gifting, and other social commerce options.

Building the Future of BBM

If you read my Open for Business post from a few weeks ago, you know that we’re working to make BBM an even more useful tool by expanding on these kinds of opportunities — always with your security and privacy in mind. We want to make BBM a place where you feel comfortable and confident that you can communicate freely with friends, family and colleagues, a place where you can safely discover and buy goods and services, and interact with shopping outlets and local merchants. The ability to share the music you’re listening to on your device, see what your contacts are listening to, and (for iPhone users) click through to purchase at the iTunes store is a great example of these efforts.

Creating a great app is a long-term project, with many small building blocks. This latest release strengthens our privacy offering, and lays the groundwork for future improvements that will make BBM even more useful in your everyday life.

All of these new features are available now for BlackBerry 10 smartphones, iPhones, and Androids by installing the latest BBM update in BlackBerry World, Apple App Store, and Google Play. Be sure to update your BBM today to give all the new features a try.

While the timed message feature is designed to remove the message or picture from the recipient’s BBM chat view, it does not prevent recipients from capturing an image of the content by taking a screenshot or using an image capture device.

Retracting a message after it has been read by the recipient will remove the message from the BBM chat view, but will not affect copies of the message that the recipient may have made prior to the message being retracted.

About Matthew Talbot

I am the Senior Vice President - Emerging Solutions at BlackBerry. I have extensive International Management, Sales and Marketing background in Mobility and Cloud technologies, Financial Services, Telecommunications, and Content in both a “Start-Up” and Public company environment. This includes stints as a senior executive at SAP, Sybase, Mobile 365 and others.

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