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Cisco CEO: Tech, government need to find balance

Chuck Robbins being interviewed in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2016.
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Chuck Robbins being interviewed in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2016.

Government and technology companies have to work together to achieve equilibrium between privacy and security, Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins said Thursday.

"There's got to be balance. It's not one answer or the other. We've never provided backdoors into any of our products, and I think that citizens around the world want their privacy, but they also want security. It's something that we're going to have to spend some time on," Robbins told CNBC's "Squawk Box" at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Many tech giants — including Apple and Facebook — have raised security on their products recently, in order to curtail governments' ability to use their data. However, governments around the world — including the U.S. government — have claimed that they need these data to thwart potential terrorist attacks.

"It's something that both the private industry as well as the public sector have to work together on," Robbins said. We have to deal with some of these policy issues like the balance between privacy and national security."

Robbins succeeded John Chambers as Cisco's chief executive in July.