August 30, 2004
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From: Bill Payer
Almost a year ago, you kindly published my letter suggesting that Credit Card companies outsourcing account maintenance to India and other overseas locations exposed Americans to risks. I felt the contemptible practice of trying to hide this practice by refusing to disclose the geographical origins of calls was disgraceful and should be vigorously protested.
Finally a major media outlet has referred to the problem. MSN Money`s columnist Liz Pulliam Weston recently published an essay which thoroughly lays out the dangers involved. Included is the story that
"Last year…a Pakistani medical transcriber threatened to post on the Internet confidential patient files from a San Francisco hospital unless she was paid money she said she was owed… UCSF Medical Center fired the contractor who hired the subcontractor who was ultimately responsible…But the incident exposed the fact that the hospital wasn`t keeping track of exactly where its medical records were going or who had access to them."
Needless to say, Weston had to muffle her piece with a happygram about the existence of ultra-secure Indian processing facilities. (Sounds like Indian employers have a low opinion of the ethics of their workers). And she tastefully does not mention a crucial dimension: beyond simple larceny, political motives exist in many of these offshore locations to activate the bad guys. But it is a commendable column.
We are going to hear more, and worse, about this problem.