On 5th of October UK television channel (Channel 4) will air footage of sting operation which will show two Indian middlemen selling personal and confidential financial information of UK citizens they allegedly obtained from Indian call centers.
New Delhi: The Indian BPO industry is gearing up for Thursday morning blues. UK-based broadcaster Channel 4 has said it would air a sting operation on October 5 that would purportedly blow the lid off the thriving data theft scandal in India’s booming outsourcing industry.
The sting operation, titled The Data Theft Scandal, will reportedly show two Indian middlemen selling personal and confidential financial information of UK citizens they allegedly obtained from Indian call centers.
According to a prelim report published on the website of the London daily The Sunday Times (timesonline.co.uk), “middlemen” – in connivance with willing Indian BPO employees – offer “bulk packages” of crucial information like thousands of credit card numbers, passport and driving license details to the highest bidders.
This news about Indian call centre, the unfolding story of theft of privacy data, I took it with mixture of feelings, Alarmed and Frustration. Alarmed because these sort of incidents are damaging our BPO industry reputation and Frustration because this sort of theft and security breach matter most when its happens in India then anywhere else in world, reason because many employee organization in ( UK and US ) and even people are against of off shoring their private details to other country.
Unfortunately this is not the first time it has happened, only a month ago Time of India reported case of BPO lady employee who used some cards of customer of US to buy luxuries things for her family and home Time of India Report: Misusing ‘confidential’ info: BPO staff arrested
Last year we had heard that employee of one call centre sold the credits cards details to one under cover reporter of British news papers, just for some money.
Every day we hear the call of many MPs and MEPs of Europe about better protection of personal data of EU citizens. They are trying hard to persuade the governments of EU countries to bring the law against off shoring of personal data. They want regulation to prevent unauthorized access of personal details being processed abroad.
There was an article few months ago in British news Evening Standard about off shoring and how Criminals are trying to bribe Indian call centre workers to get access to customer credit card details. Analysts have already predicted these sorts of bad news could reduce India’s call centre growth by as much as 30 per cent. This is a serious problem, considering that India’s call center industry accounts for a quarter of all software and services exports from the country.
India’s offshore call-centre industry is facing a major security crisis that could damage the reputation of whole industry.
It hard now a days to make people believe that a problem is with people (employees), not offshore/onshore. This sort of fraud and identity theft can happen anywhere and in fact it has happened more in US and UK, then in Indian call centre.
It is correct it’s not a problem with off shore or outsourcing its problem with people working with these companies. Companies put everything, proper infrastructure, security checks and last but not least the trust in their valuable employees. If employees broke this trust then sure companies well whole BPO specially call centre industry are at risk.
In my opinion companies should start doing proper security check of each employee before they employ, whether it’s for financial process are not. Like in US and in UK there are accepted standards for employment. A typical call-center worker will be going through a standardized background-check process, a drug-screen, and so forth. To protect BPO industry in India, government should make legislation for this.
I had seen many adverts about On-Spot Offer, well stop doing this, make proper standard of employment in BPO industry, and do proper background checks, education checks and so on….
Data security has become the top risk concern for many UK and US companies that are considering outsourcing operations. To keep our BPO industry government should bring strict laws for BPO industry and for BPO employees. We need to act on this and fast, as time is running out and world is watching us.
We need strict Laws for Data Protection, and strict punishment for people who is breaching. Just because some greedy people we cant afford to loose our BPO industry reputation. We got many talented and honest people; we just need a proper standard recruitment procedure for this industry.
Any one can argue with me saying, well in fact one of my friend who is operation head in one MNC call centre in India has come up with this point,
“No matter what the prospective punishment there will always be people who will trade information for money.”
So for them I want clear that, it’s correct that No matter what the prospective punishment there will always be people who will trade information for money. But I am sure it will reduce the crime rate. If there will be strict laws and rules, people will follow it, people who don’t follow they will be at risk of getting strict punishment, so at least some people won’t do this sort of things, when they think about punishment.
If we really want to safe this industry we at least need these three things;
- We need strict regulation for BPO employees.
- We need standard employment procedure for all BPO employees.
- We need strict rules for any cyber crimes.