Nasscom, India's software employers' organisation, launched recently a nationwide register of IT employees aimed at preventing security breaches.
The register, believed to be the first of its kind, will include workers' photographs, fingerprints, signatures, passport numbers, educational backgrounds and employment histories. The database will be voluntary for workers but employers may choose to hire only those on the register.
"It should serve as a deterrent to organised crime," said Sunil Mehta, Nasscom vice-president, on the sidelines of the recent India-US Information Security Summit in New Delhi. "The leading 50 BPO [business-process outsourcing] firms will not hire any new employees unless they register."
Earlier this year, allegations of impropriety shook the IT industry, the bedrock of India's booming economy. The $5.2bn (euro4.3bn, £2.9bn) call-centre industry came under scrutiny in April after three employees of Mphasis, a Bangalore-based outsourcing firm, were arrested for allegedly stealing $350,000 from Citibank account holders in New York. Two months later, an IT employee in Delhi was reported to have sold confidential information on 1,000 UK banking customers.
Mr Mehta said he expected 1.3m workers covering 1,000 companies to be registered within 12 to 18 months. Employee data are to be refreshed every five years.
The database will be monitored by independent checkers, such as KPMG and Quest Research.
FT Syndication Service