Pocket stapling practice 'draconian', says call centre operators group
Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
The group that represent call centre operators has sought to distance its members from the practice of stapling the pockets of employees.
The stance by the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ) came hours after the practice was brought to light by one call centre operator yesterday.
"The BPIAJ and its members do not condone such draconian measures being used to prevent security breaches and protect client's data," said the association's president Yoni Epstein.
Davon Crump, the CEO of Global Outsourcing Solutions Limited, told a conference on cyber security in Kingston yesterday that the "stapling of the pocket is something that is done."
"To be honest with you, I have seen it," Crump said bluntly.
"It is done in some of the call centres throughout Jamaica and more people are doing it because they see that things do get past them," he said.
"Quite frankly it's done across the board and it's for various reasons. We want to ensure that there are no telephones or other devices in their [employees] pockets," he explained.
Crump later told The Gleaner that it was one of several measures put in place to ensure that sensitive information from overseas-based clients are not compromised.
He said demonstrating the ability to protect clients' data is one way Jamaican call centres can sway foreign companies wary of Jamaica's reputation for scamming activities.
"We have to take all necessary precaution to ensure that our data and our clients' data is not compromised in any way," he insisted.
However, while conceding that data security and client privacy are major challenges facing the business processes industry globally, the BPIAJ said its members have employed other strategies to combat this problem.
Noting that Crump is not a member of the association, Epstein told The Gleaner, through a statement released late yesterday, that some of these strategies include thorough background checks and polygraph test for some potential employees.
According to him, most, if not all, facilities are monitored by electronic surveillance, employ on-site security personnel and implement strict network and data access controls which manages web access and records employee/client interaction.
In addition, Epstein said the use of mobile phones is strictly prohibited on the production floor while USB drives are disabled and firewalls implemented for data protection.
"With the recent increase in illegal schemes such as lottery scamming and other fraudulent activities primarily in western Jamaica – the epicentre of the BPO industry – entities have had to implement greater security measures to protect the flow and use of information," the association noted.
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