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Your personal info is now public

business Updated: Aug 04, 2008 11:58 IST
Soubhik Mitra
Soubhik Mitra
Hindustan Times
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A year ago, Nimesh Shah, owner of a social media group, bought a car and got free insurance cover. Last month, another insurance company called him for a renewal. "They know my car’s model number, its colour and when the insurance expires. It’s as if a hidden camera is capturing my movements," he says.

<b1>Shah is the victim of a huge problem in India — lack of data security. Most of us apply for credit cards, banks loans, insurance, etc, and in the process pass on personal information to the service provider. However, this data is not always safe. It could be passed on to marketers or even be stolen by them.

According to research by Seclore Technology, 80 per cent of consumers’ personal information lies in unprotected files. This means pesky telemarketers could get hold of your personal information and phone numbers easily, terror groups could use your name and details to send threats, and corporate rivals could get hold of soft copies of your company letterhead to ruin your name.

A Mumbai pharma firm was the victim of such a crime. A few months ago, six people crowded the office of its HR manager Shilpa Deodhar, claiming they’d been appointed to various posts in the company. They had with them offer letters on the company letterhead. It turned out that an ex-employee had stolen the soft copy of the letterhead to make the fake offers.

Says IT guru Vijay Mukhi: “You can’t go to jail for data theft in India. Most corporates don’t even bother to file cases.”