Security summit to resolve offshoring data concerns

The Indian software industry group Nasscom has revealed plans for a security summit with US government officials, IT directors...

The Indian software industry group Nasscom has revealed plans for a security summit with US government officials, IT directors and trade body leaders.

The move comes amid growing concern that offshore outsourcing services may breach data protection rules in Europe and the US.

Nasscom, which has about 850 members, will hold the conference in October in New Dehli. It will discuss how to guarantee the security of data processed overseas and share good practice.

Jerry Rao, chairman of Nasscom, said, "Through the conference, [US trade body] ITAA and Nasscom will work closely with leading government agencies in India and the US to discuss ways to address the emergent challenges that threaten the secure flows of information across national borders."

A growing number of UK companies have outsourced IT systems overseas to low-cost countries such as India in recent years. However, offshore outsourcing has met with growing controversy as opponents claim that the services could breach data protection rules and cause millions of IT job losses in the developed world.

Earlier this month a trade union at Lloyds TSB challenged the right of the high-street bank to send sensitive personal information about its customers offshore to India for processing. The union has written to the Information Commissioner seeking a ruling about whether Lloyds TSB is entitled to send data offshore without the written consent of each customer.

Lloyds TSB said it was confident that data processed in India complied with the Data Protection Act.

The complaint follows Lloyds TSB's announcement that it would close a call centre in Newcastle with the loss of 1,000 jobs and replace it with a centre in Mumbai, India, by November.

India's software and services exports business recorded revenue of $12.5bn (£6.8bn) in the year to 31 March, up 30.5% on revenue of $9.6bn the previous financial year, according to data released by Nasscom.

 

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