Is your personal information really at risk from foreign call centres?

It has been reported that Indian call centre workers have been selling confidential information about British citizens for 2p. Are there adequate controls in place?

Fancy getting your hands on the medical or financial records of a complete stranger? Just two pence should be enough, if reports on Indian call centre workers selling UK consumers’ confidential information to criminals are to be believed.

Companies are not allowed to transfer personal information from the UK to other countries unless they can ensure it will be subject to the same level of protection. When the FSA, the City watchdog, looked into data security in 2008, it concluded that firms with call centres overseas did have adequate controls in place. It says that, despite the report, it is not aware of anything to suggest security has got worse since.

But worryingly, data breaches do happen in the UK; there are 2011 cases listed on the information commissioner’s website. In the meantime, if you receive an unsolicited call from a call centre operative who asks you for your security details, refuse.


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