On Mumbailive and Hardnews -Dial D for Data Theft


Gurgaon:Twenty-four-year-old Sandeep Mohanty (name changed) is an executive with Keane Worldzen, a multinational Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), based in Gurgaon. He is required to realise debt amounts from customers based in the US and the UK. In an eight-hour shift in one night he speaks to more than two hundred customers, and, if lucky, collects more than $10,000 for his company.

In the recent past, India has witnessed scores of incidents of data theft and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) violations, which have made foreign investors re-think their plans of investing in India. These incidents have made headlines all across the globe and especially in the UK and the US where there is already a strong backlash on the issue of outsourcing to India.

The government has proactively responded to these concerns by proposing amendments to the IT Act of 2000, which will be tabled in the next session of the Parliament. Although the Act has been subjected to various amendments since its inception, loopholes remain and surface every now and then. “The IT Act still has lot of scope for amendments, to be at par with developed countries’ data security practices. There is weak enforcement of IPR in India. In this age of globalisation it is a business imperative to conform to the IPR regime. We are the IT superpower in the world, but our laws don’t reflect that. We are still in a nascent stage of creating laws, but these laws are not in tandem with rising economic growth. We need a devoted legislation on cyber crime that can complement the Indian Penal Code,” stressed Karnika Seth, cyber lawyer, practising at the Supreme Court.

There is also a need for IT-savvy lawyers and judges, as well as skill- training for government agencies and professionals in computer forensics. There are few attorneys, judges and police officers well-versed with the IT Act.