BlackBerry to open new GDPR and EECC-compliant data centres

Deal will provide companies with a secure way of communicating emergencies to their workforce

BlackBerry will open additional data centres in France and the Netherlands as well as expanding its existing data centre in the UK to help customers comply with EU data protection regulations and the upcoming Public Warning directives.

The new Directive on the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC), which was adopted in 2018, is to ensure that all EU member states establish a public warning system to protect citizens in cases such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks. 

The data centres will be used to store the personal data of citizens, ensuring that it is compliant with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Using its emergency mass notification system AtHoc, BlackBerry aims to provide organisations with a secure way of communicating emergencies to their workforce. Staff will be able to be notified with the help of mobile apps, desktops, sirens, and building systems such as fire panels. 

Adam Enterkin, senior VP of EMEA at BlackBerry, said it's vital for BlackBerry to "adhere to new and existing EU data residency requirements per the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)".

"With BlackBerry AtHoc’s new EU based data centres we are able to scale our infrastructure to better support our customers’ needs over a secure and reliable network," he said, adding that "empowering [BlackBerry’s] customers with the most secure communication platform for increasing resiliency and communicating swiftly is critical in a crisis".

In July, the company announced that it was partnering with Vodafone to offer the BlackBerry AtHoc platform as a crisis communications solution for UK emergency services.

The mobile app is already used by military, government, and commercial organisations in order to provide their workforce with physical security, force protection, as well as personnel accountability. 

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Greater Manchester Police and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service were the first two clients to benefit from the partnership, with the Greater Manchester Police inspector Darren Spurgeon saying that the system was chosen to allow the police "to share and receive real time information across our business and police operations".

"BlackBerry AtHoc will help us rapidly respond to internal operational issues and ensure accurate information is shared across multiple police departments and personnel using both analog and digital channels," he added.

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