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UK Call Centre employees caught peddling stolen data


Indian outsourcing ...

T-Mobile has been no stranger to screw-ups, but we’d always just figured that their UK counterparts were stand-up guys. After all, they’re British – as we all know, every one from that side of the pond is charming, affable, and rocks a bloody good accent. Unfortunately, it looks like not everyone employed there is as scrupulous as their customers would hope – a story by the BBC has confirmed that T-Mobile UK employees sold private subscriber data to a third-party broker.

T-Mobile UK and the British authorities have been taking steps to handle the incident, with the Information Commissioner’s Office going as far as trying to stick offenders with a prison sentence instead of the ordinary £5,000 fine that comes with a violation of Britain’s Data Protection Act. (via T-Mobile UK employees caught peddling personal data).

Prejudiced media

Prejudiced and jaundiced ...?

Prejudiced and jaundiced ...?

Sometime back a similar incident in India, created a furore. The Indian media, with highly sensitized accounts, predicted that the Indian software industry will get a ‘bad name due to the actions of a few’, the Indian software industry’s negligence and casual approach was blamed for these incidents. In one case, good ole’ industrial espionage was classified as data theft (not surprisingly by IANS) – similar to the Oracle-SAP row. Another case, which received some level of publicity was when a ‘database’ vendor’ alleged that their data was stolen by their Indian contractors.

So much so The Sun and the Channel 4 mounted elaborate sting operations on Indian call centres, carrots were dangled, Indian call centre employees were tempted – and when the penny dropped, there was gleeful celebrations about the lack of security in India. ‘We told you so’ was the popular, smug, self-satisfied smirks in British media.

As these two cartoons linked show.

Intelligent media

Not to overlook responsible British media which clearly spelt out that

“fraud is a bigger problem in UK institutions, a fact largely overlooked by the media. It is also more likely to occur in any other developed market we choose to do business with.” The same article went ahead and pointed out how “Accountants Ernst & Young found in a survey of Western corporate managers that almost two thirds expected to encounter more fraud in emerging markets than at home. Yet 75 per cent of fraud occurred in developed markets, the firm said. Forrester Research found in 2005 that the UK and US suffered more computer security breaches than India.”

Well … what goes around, comes around. Only difference, there was no sting operation in this case. These British call centre employees, perpetrated this entire fraud all by themselves.

Without the help of Indian media.

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