Sunday, October 01, 2006

Are Your Personal Financial Details being Outsourced by the Outsourcers?

In their quest for cheap labor - many companies now outsource services to Bangalore (India). But have these companies performed their "due diligence" about how well their customer's personal information is being protected? It appears, at least in some instances, they haven't.

Jon Ungoed-Thomas and Roger Waite of the Sunday Times report:

CREDIT card data, along with passport and driving license numbers, are being stolen from call centres in India and sold to the highest bidder, an investigation has found.

Middlemen are offering bulk packages of tens of thousands of credit card numbers for sale. They even have access to taped telephone conversations in which British customers disclose sensitive security information to call centre staff.

Link to Sunday Times story, here.

During their investigation, one of these middlemen offered a database with 200,000 people's credit card information. He also had passport numbers, drivers license numbers, personal banking details and another 8,000 people's (personal details) from a mobile phone company.

With chatrooms and websites selling this type of information - my speculation is that it could end up being used just about anywhere in the world.

The Associated Press did an interesting piece about this last month, here.

And I'm not only going to blame outsourcing to India - the lack of "due diligence" in protecting people's personal information is a global problem fueled by the quest for profit.

There's nothing wrong with making a profit, but it isn't fair to do so at the expense of other people.

The problem is that most of these companies consider identity theft a cost of doing business and pass the costs on to their customers as a whole. My question is with entire databases being sold and "laundered" through the Internet, how is anyone going to figure out where the information originally came from?

If this problem continues to grow - we are all going to end up paying for it!

It's unlikely if any of the companies scattering the information all over the world are going to admit they were the original point of compromise.

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