Fresh guidelines for telecom operators after Idea fiasco

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, May 1: The central security agencies have taken serious note of destruction of details of nearly 1.2 crore SIM cards belonging to Idea Cellular, terming it as a "security lapse", and worked out fresh guidelines for telecom operators for maintaining of records of consumers.

In a report, the central security agencies said inquires into the fire incident at Jyoti Warehouse, Aslali in Ahmedabad, where nearly two crore Consumer Application Forms (CAFs) of Idea Cellular were stored, have found that the telecom service provider had outsourced the storage and maintenance of these forms.

The warehouse had CAFs from 1996 onwards when it caught fire in February this year. After the incident it was found that only 80 lakh forms had been scanned while details of 1.2 crore had been destroyed.

"It is further transpired that the firm, to which the job had been outsourced, was privy to requisitions made by the law enforcement agencies for CAF documents of suspects. This is a security lapse," the report submitted to Union Home Ministry said.

"The incident not only highlights the fact that important data has been completly lost, but also underscores the slow rate at which the digitisation of subscriber data was being carried out," it said.

Following this incident, the telecom service providers have been asked to ensure quick and time bound scanning of all CAFs, proper duplication of records with a mirror image in the archives, the stores where the CAF have been kept should have fire proof arrangements and secure from other hazards.

"In case storage and upkeep of CAF is outsourced, the agency, to which the job is outsourced, should never become privy to the requisitions placed by the Law Enforcement Agencies on the service provider for CAF documents," it said.


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