Monday, October 15, 2007

India Trade Group To Research Data Security Standards

The Economic Times reports welcome news from Nasscom, the the IT industry trade organization of India. The Data Security Council of India (DSCI), which was initiated by Nasscom in recognition of the need to address the lack of security standards for the burgeoning Indian business process outsourcing (BPO) business, has formed a steering committee to look into data security standards. see news bulletin For the last several years, Nasscom has been unsuccessful at getting the Indian legislature to enact data protection legislation. Indian law affords minimal protections for the privacy of personal information. Considering that by some accounts, India controls 44% of the global outsourcing and back-office services, India's BPO clients must rely exclusively on contractual assurances that their customers and employees' data security will not be compromised. The 21 member steering committee is charged with reviewing current security status and development of a business model for DSCI. Additionally, the committee will develop draft model contract templates. Nasscom President, Kiran Karnik, said that the DSCI would work with enforcement agencies to conduct training and awareness programs. Should the committee's work produce the intended results, it will provide some welcome relief and additional assurance to the thousands of companies that have contracts in place with Indian BPOs, and perhaps the motivation to revisit their contracts to adopt the standards if they are adequate for their purposes.

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