NEW DELHI: Nasscom today said it will pursue the case of middlemen allegedly selling personal and confidential financial information of UK citizens and take the criminals, if any, to the concerned authorities.
This is despite Dispatches’ (Channel 4) reluctance to provide Nasscom the details of the allegations it had made together with the evidence or support documentation that it have on middlemen selling personal and confidential information they had allegedly obtained from Indian call centres.
“We have no further update from them (Dispatches) on their intent to share the details of persons shown in the program who have ‘sold’ the data to Channel 4. However, we will pursue it further to ensure that criminals, if any, are rightly taken to the concerned authorities,” Nasscom president Kiran Karnik said in a statement.
Even before the report based on a sting operation was aired, Nasscom had requested Dispatches to cooperate and provide details of the allegations, so as to enable prompt action against the alleged criminals. Dispatches had refused to provide that information, before airing of the programme, Nasscom said.
Following the airing of some part of the programme on Star News (India) last week, Nasscom took this investigation with the Indian Police authorities, in Kolkata and, on behalf of the IT industry, filed a complaint. The Criminal Investigation Department of the West Bengal Police registered a First Information Report based on the complaint and started investigations under the Criminal Procedure Code.
The police searched the alleged middleman, Sushant Chandak’s residence in Kolkata on Wednesday evening, but he with his entire family was found missing. The authorities are in the process of locating Chandak and gathering evidence relating to the allegations.
“We take any alleged breach of security extremely seriously. The fact that there was no suggestion of customers suffering financial loss in Dispatches’ report does not diminish the priority we give to all security issues. An investigation by the Indian police is already well underway and we call upon Dispatches’ full and complete cooperation with their inquiries. The Dispatches programme made it clear that data security is an international issue that is not unique to any one country. In India we are seeking to lead the way to even more stringent security standards,” Karnik said.
Nasscom is setting up a national registry of employees in the IT software and services industry apart from training enforcement officials and creating awareness in the judiciary in India on cyber crimes, also conducting Cyber Safety Weeks for consumer awareness
The industry body is also establishing a Self-Regulatory Organization to ensure the highest standards across the industry.
Nasscom is also working closely with the Indian Government to evolve amendments to India’s already-tight laws so as to ensure the globally best cyber environment. The statement, quoting news reports, said “the final changes have been incorporated, and it is likely to be placed before the Parliament during the Winter session — makes the data protection by companies, even more stringent.”
These measures (in addition to a number of other steps), are already helping the Indian ITES BPO industry set some of the very highest international standards, Nasscom said.
Following a recent investigation of call centre’s in India, the UK’s Banking Codes Standards Board reported: “Customer data
A separate recent report by the UK’s Financial Services Authority noted, “There is no evidence to suggest consumer data is at greater risk in India than in the UK.”
“There is no room for complacency, however. In India, we are determined to keep all procedures under review in order to stay ahead of criminals no matter where in the world they may be based. Security is and will remain our number one priority,” the Nasscom statement said.
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