The newly-appointed President of National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) R.Chandrashekhar has said that the Data Protection Bill in Europe and the Immigration Bill in the US may emerge as major challenges for the USD 108 billion India IT industry.

When asked about the challenges he sees ahead for the industry, Mr.Chandrashekhar replied, “Challenges that I see are the US Immigration Bill and the data security in Europe.”

“...security in Europe has the potential of going into directions which will not be conducive for (those) countries as well as our (IT) industry. They will get hurt and we will also get hurt,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the 3rd annual Action for India forum held in the national capital over the weekend.

He added that as an industry body, Nasscom is in constant dialogue with authorities concerned across the globe on issues that affect the industry.

“These are the areas that we are working on...I had gone in September and had conversations with EU. Engagement is a continuous process,” Mr.Chandrasekhar said.

The EU Data Protection Directive governs trans-border data flows and lays down the conditions for transfer of personal data of EU citizens outside the region.

These legal instruments, together with the enforcement mechanisms across member countries, put too much obligations on businesses, which is often considered to be unfriendly to businesses especially small and medium sized service providers.

According to a Nasscom-Data Security Council of India survey on the data protection issues in EU said there is significant opportunity loss for the IT-BPO industry on the account of data transfer related issues as clients hesitate to offshore work to India because of stringent data protection requirements in the EU.

The Immigration Bill in the US proposes higher visa fees and enhanced audit by US agencies which is likely to hurt the domestic IT industry.

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