Fears over overseas call center security

June 24, 2005 at 8:50 AM
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LONDON, June 24 (UPI) -- Regulators are unable to keep tabs on the growing number of overseas call centers handing sensitive data, a British consumer watchdog has said.

The warning came as police began investigating allegations that an employee of an Indian call center attempted to sell the personal details of 1,000 Britons to an undercover reporter from the Sun newspaper.

The confidential information included details of bank accounts, credit cards, passports and medical bills, and would have enabled fraudsters to clone cards, buy goods over the internet and access accounts.

The banking industry has insisted its security in India is tight. A spokesman told the Telegraph newspaper the nature of the details suggested they came from a retailer, not a bank.

Personal details handled by call centers are regulated by the Information Commission, while the Financial Services Authority has the task of monitoring call centers run by banks.

However, Susanne Lace of the National Consumer Council, said the information commissioner was in practice unable to scrutinize call centers abroad.

Around 5,000 call center jobs have been transferred from Britain to India.

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