Search This Blog

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Westpac: data safe as a bank?

Westpac is in the hot seat over plans to outsource to a company in India functions previously undertaken in a secure service centre which houses sensitive customer and business data from the 632 Westpac banks across Australia.

NSW Premier Iemma yesterday said that these plans to outsource NSW jobs would be a consideration when the Government comes to renew its banking arrangements with the company.

One of our readers has sent this link to the Finance Sector Union's campaign on the issue.

Westpac is subject to the National Privacy Principles in the Federal Privacy Act, one of which requries it to "reasonably believe" that the overseas recipient of information is subject to a law, binding scheme, or contract that ensures data is handled consistently with Australian privacy principles. This includes the requirement to ensure adequate data security.

Westpac, no doubt are aware of its obligations and can quote chapter and verse of why its confident that none of the proposed arrangements poses a risk to customer data.

However data security problems in India aren't unknown. Last year the Federal Privacy Commissioner announced an investigation into two Australian mobile phone companies' privacy practices following a disclosure on Four Corners about the sale of personal information there - the Commissioner's website doesn't have anything about what, if anything happened as a result of the investigation.

More recently another incident involving an Indian call centre was seen to be a blow to the credibility of the growing Indian service sector.

Then again after recent disclosures about Centrelink and the Australian Tax Office maybe we should be careful about throwing stones.

No comments:

Post a Comment