India promises protection of foreign firms' data security

By agencies   |   Thursday, 23 June 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India's top software body said it would help the authorities crack down on call center workers indulging in "criminal acts" of selling customer-related banking information.

Kiran Karnik, chief of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), said Thursday that India was a "trustworthy" outsourcing destination and would not let call center workers get away with data theft as reported in a top-selling British tabloid.

"We have noted the report in the Sun resulting from an investigation by their reporter about the illegal sale of customer data and are seeking further details," said Karnik.

"We believe that any theft or breach of a customer's confidentiality must be treated extremely seriously. India, with its strong legal system and its independent judiciary, is a country that takes this responsibility extremely seriously," he added.

"NASSCOM will work with the legal authorities in the United Kingdom and India to ensure that those responsible for any criminal breaches are promptly prosecuted and face the maximum penalty," said Karnik.

He said Indian laws had been updated to meet new data protection needs.

"We have continuously been strengthening both the legal and enforcement framework for data protection," said Karnik.

India's Information Technology Act passed by parliament in 2000 lays down stringent financial punishments for data theft including prison terms of two to five years.

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