×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Private Data Sold From Indian Call Center

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the now-that-is-full-service dept.

212

Matt Freman writes to mention a ZDNet article on reports that private data is being sold out of an Indian call center. A U.K. television programme, 'Dispatches', follows a 12-month investigative report on illegal privacy-related activities. During the taping of the show thousands of U.K. bank customers had their personal information sold by the staff of a call center. From the article: "Indian IT trade organization Nasscom criticized Channel 4 for refusing to show it any of the footage before it was broadcast on Thursday evening. It urged the program makers to cooperate in rooting out and prosecuting any 'corrupt' call center workers. 'The whole issue of data security is a global problem,' said Sunil Mehta, a vice president at Nasscom. 'There are bad apples in every industry around the world, and these incidents happen in India and the U.K. This is not a widespread problem in India. Security measures and practices that Indian companies have are the best in the world.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

212 comments

Hmm... (0, Flamebait)

Xest (935314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16335975)

"Security measures and practices that Indian companies have are the best in the world." and I guess staff competence and ability to converse in the native language of the caller is the best in the world too huh?

Re:Hmm... (5, Insightful)

weave (48069) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336197)

Amen. We just recently had an esoteric problem with Windows and roaming profiles where in about 1% of the logons, the user's perms to their user hive in the registry would be removed, preventing any GPOs from applying. After two weeks of debugging and not being able to faithfully reproduce it, we called microsoft and paid for an advanced support call to troubleshoot mission critical issues. This is one where "senior management" is allegedly notified of your issue.

We never got out of India, as evidenced by the emails that went back and forth and their origin (you can't always judge by accent because there are Indian citizens working domestically). However, as you stated, the ability to understand what they were saying was enough to drag each call out to twice as long as it should have been.

Then there's the quality of the "support." We were treated as if we were Grandma with a PC problem. We provided clear userenv logs and asked specific questions like "What causes migratent4tont5 process to invoked? What exactly is it checking for since we have no nt4 machines left?" No answers to our specific questions. Instead we got "advice" like.

  • It's probably a virus problem.
  • Please remove all non-microsoft services from all of your machines. "What? Including our Anti-virus software?" The answer was, yes.
  • It's a driver issue with nvidia video cards (we don't have any machines with nvidia cards)

After a while the case person stopped returning our calls and their email started bouncing. Emailing the manager on record for this also bounced. Seemed like their email server was having problems.

They never followed-up on the call. After another week we found out what the problem was. If the ProfileList HKLM key didn't match what local cached profiles of roaming profiles exist on any given machine, it *sometimes* triggered this process that ended up changing the ACLs on the user hive preventing GPOs from being set. Solution was a machine startup script to check that list and remove any entries that conflicted.

They never even hinted to us where to look. We just found it through a heck of a lot of trial, errors, and observations. As far as I know, over a month later, the case is still open with them. They have never bothered to follow up. Then again, they probably closed the call with some lame excuse like "Customer refused to cooperate" (yes, we refused to remove anti-virus from all 2000 of our desktops. It was a stupid suggestion and had nothing to do with the problem at all)

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16336505)

You have to know that the call centers follow a script. It's a rote script which was prepared by Microsoft. If you want to blame anyone, please, blame Microsoft

Re:Hmm... (3, Insightful)

Lactoso (853587) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336725)

GP is blaming Microsoft. Specifically, Microsoft's decision to outsource support to a foreign nation, Microsoft's lack of training of this outsourced support staff, Microsoft's apparent apathy with the end-user (used to be called 'the customer' in the old days) experience, and Microsoft's failure to meet their support claims (this was a paid support call where 'senior management' was supposedly notified).

And the saddest part of this tale is that since the problem was solved (by the customer) after having dealt with the crack MS support staff, I imagine it will appear as a successful resolution for that support center, further legitimizing their use. While in actuality, the customer is completely dissatisfied.

Re:Hmm... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16337147)

There ARE lots of qualified NT admins in India, who have the professionalism and knowledge to really research this kind of problem.

Good luck finding them though, since of course the whole point of outsourcing is generally to get scripted drones on the cheap.

So yeah, it's not the country, it's the company.

Re:Hmm... (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336203)

Are you saying that a security expert in the UK couldn't provide security in India, because he can't speak Hindi? What does language ability have to do with Security skills?

Re:Hmm... (2, Insightful)

gorfie (700458) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336327)

Don't be too quick to downgrade the parent. His message may seem trollish but his point is valid. They claim that their security measures are the best in the world but they also make other claims that are done purely to make their industry look more appealing to potential customers - not necessarily with any basis in reality(whether that is sales abilities, communciation skills, work ethic etc.). So if one claim is pure marketing then who is to say that the claim regarding security is anything other than an attempt to ease the fears of potential customers?

Re:Hmm... (2, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336421)

Exactly, whilst I agree my post probably came across as a little too trollish, my point was that comments like that are as ignorant and short-sighted pro-India marketing propaganda as the original article is anti-India marketing propaganda. When many outsourcing companies have been making claims like that (although of course in this case it was a response) is it suprising that western organisations hit back with an equivalent amount of propaganda? In an ideal world they'd all just grow up and avoid spreading any propaganda in the first place ;)

Re:Hmm... (2, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336603)

In an ideal world, the SE that gave a realistic estimate of 300 hours would get the contract.

In the real world, the SE who says it will take 150 hours and then extends it to 300 hours for various reasons gets the contract.

Wrong. In the real world... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16336639)

it's the SE who says it will take 150 hours and then extends it to 450 hours for various reasons who gets the contract.

How are cases prosecuted? (4, Insightful)

weave (48069) | more than 7 years ago | (#16335981)

If a worker who works in same country as the company is caught in fraud, they are prosecuted and thrown in jail. If a megacorp outsources off-shore and the employees of that company are involved in fraud, exactly what assurances does that company or its customers have that the perps are prosecuted?

Also, I always wondered why companies that outsource are assured their trade secrets are not sold too.

Re:How are cases prosecuted? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16336031)

I work at an outsourced customer support company. The policies where I work is if your caught abusing the information you get, you get fired. Simple as that. As for prosecution, if the offense was great enough, the company does prosecute I believe - I've never actually seen something this serious where I work, so I'm not 100% sure about how they deal with prosecution.

can the fired bad guys sue easily? (2, Insightful)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336177)

"I work at an outsourced customer support company. The policies where I work is if your caught abusing the information you get, you get fired. Simple as that"

Is it easier to fire the bad guys there because you are less likely to have a crooked lawyer come up out of the ooze and file a frivolous "wrongful termination" lawsuit? I know that is a problem in the US.

Re:can the fired bad guys sue easily? (3, Insightful)

weave (48069) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336243)

Fired? That's it? I'm curious of the economics of the crime then. Is it possible that one can earn enough coin by selling information where they never have to work again, and hence firing is worth it?

Re:can the fired bad guys sue easily? (2, Informative)

Name Anonymous (850635) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336367)

Is it possible that one can earn enough coin by selling information where they never have to work again, and hence firing is worth it?

In a word: Yes!

In more detail, a credit card number with enough information to use it (name, address, phone number, etc) is worth about $100. So if you work at a place that has lots of customers (Amazon or Paypal for examples) you could very well make enough money with all that data.

Re:can the fired bad guys sue easily? (2, Informative)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336527)

Is it easier to fire the bad guys there because you are less likely to have a crooked lawyer come up out of the ooze and file a frivolous "wrongful termination" lawsuit? I know that is a problem in the US.

This isn't any more of a problem in the US. It's very easy to fire someone who has committed a crime. The fired employee would have to weigh any potential compensation against jail time (or perhaps more jail time).

Re:How are cases prosecuted? (4, Informative)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336343)

Most shady people who would sell others' information would not care about being fired from some $7.50/hr call center job. Prosecution is not a big threat either, as rare as it is for people to be aggressively prosecuted for data theft. This is true no matter what country the call center operates in. It's just what will inevitably happen when you farm out important corporate operations to the lowest bidder. Of course they will take shortcuts and of course there will be shady people willing to exploit the situation. The only thing surprising about this article is that people didn't realize the potential for these problems a lot sooner. And the only thing that surprises me about fraud is that it isn't more common, as easy as it is to do. All it takes to succeed is a little common sense is a complete lack of morals.

Re:How are cases prosecuted? (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336707)

Most shady people who would sell others' information would not care about being fired from some $7.50/hr call center job
Well maybe they should, otherwise how would they get the information? Is this a once-only ripoff?

Re:How are cases prosecuted? (-1, Troll)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336145)

Come on, we are talking about the UK... Where you can beat and rob people in the streets, invade their homes, or do any criminal act you want, and the victim is more likely to be prosecuted than the criminal (See the recent store of a grandmother who was robbed and beaten by thugs, who broke her arm... the police decided to only press charges against the grandmother, not the thugs, because she pushed one of the thugs when they were robbing and assaulting her.)

Most likely if someone was blatently caught in the act stealing data in the UK, they would face no jail time whatsoever. Where as, on the other hand, I would assume that India would probably have more severe punishment than the UK.

Re:How are cases prosecuted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16336489)

See the recent store of a grandmother who was robbed and beaten by thugs, who broke her arm... the police decided to only press charges against the grandmother, not the thugs, because she pushed one of the thugs when they were robbing and assaulting her.

And where did you read that, the National Inquirer?

Re:How are cases prosecuted? (2, Informative)

xoyoyo (949672) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336637)

That is ever so slightly overstating the case:

The woman in question was not beaten and robbed. A youth stood in her way in a public park and demanded that she hit him. She did. So he hit her back. It is against the law in this country to assault people even if they ask you to, so she was arrested. She is not going to be prosecuted as the CPS has decided quite rightly that the public interest would not be served by prosecuting her. No doubt the entire incident could have been handled more sensitively but it isn't quite the world gone mad picture you seem to have formed.

Details here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/mid/5368900.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:How are cases prosecuted? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16336803)

American slashdotters don't want the truth. They want more reasons to bash the UK. Whether they are true or not. Makes them feel better about the piss poor state of their glorious republic.

Financial incentives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16336909)

Most likely if someone was blatently caught in the act stealing data in the UK, they would face no jail time whatsoever. Where as, on the other hand, I would assume that India would probably have more severe punishment than the UK.

Theoretically perhaps but judging by India's corruption rating [transparency.org], such a punishment, if it exists, should be easy to avoid with a few well placed financial incentives.

Re:Financial incentives (1)

ShibaInu (694434) | more than 7 years ago | (#16337279)

I worked in India in 1992. The company I was working for sent me over there to work with Indian programmers on a product we were trying to sell in the US. I went over on a tourist visa, which expired in six months. My boss bribed a customs official $100 to extend my visa, no questions asked, and he did. This was pretty common pratice.

India may be pretty different now, but I doubt the corruption levels are down to "US" levels - not that we don't have tons of corruption here.

Re:How are cases prosecuted? (1)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336255)

IANAL, but I would assume that the company is liable, not the individual. The likelihood is that the company will take action against the outsourced-service-provider. If they then choose to take action against the individual, that's their prerogative.

That's not much of an "assurance" of prosecuting the individual, sure, but in terms of civil action you will be more likely to win compensation from a company than an individual so you're on a winner there. If it's not about the money but the principle, well, life's a bitch.

Its the Economics, STUPID (4, Insightful)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 7 years ago | (#16335991)

When you pay someone a wage, that relative to those of the people they deal with, they will become angry and resentful. The point of moving offshore is to save costs because the cost of living is so low, making the wages low.

Thus, the people who know they are making a great deal less than people in the UK or US feel that they are doing this to equalize themselves. It is a psychological phenomenon. People don't just want to do well, they want to do better than others.

Re:Its the Economics, STUPID (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16336293)

It's also a big example of "you get what you pay for". I don't care about outsourcing to india in the sense that I'm going to a lose a job (i'm good enough at what I do and confident, 2 weeks anywhere and I'll have a good job), it's that information is being sent to workers with the idea that we'll save money if we pay rajeesh only 5 cents an hour. well guess what, that means that your information is being secured by a guy making 5 cents an hour (OK I don't know exact rates) and he is far enough way that you are just a number or statistic to him. If you didn't see this coming, go outside and start bashing your head against a brick wall, cause you desperately need something to make you smarter than you are.

Re:Its the Economics, STUPID (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336391)

Thus, the people who know they are making a great deal less than people in the UK or US feel that they are doing this to equalize themselves. It is a psychological phenomenon.

You're completely correct, but this does not apply only to India. Wage disparity correlates more strongly with violent crime than pretty much any other social phenomenon. The way most modern cultures have evolved, the primary motivation to not steal is ethical. Punitive measures are very weak motivation by comparison. For all those arguing that this is prevalent because of lax security or a legal system that is less likely to punish, you're barking up the wrong tree. When one person starts with less resources and is rewarded with less despite being both smarter and a harder worker, that person often feels no ethical restriction from theft. When the poorer person is treated in a mercenary fashion in the first place and sees others treated the same (sorry about the layoff, it's just business) why would anyone expect them to consider selling customer data in a different light?

Its the Criminals, STUPID (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336553)

B.S.

I won't even repeat such hog wash by quoting the parent post. Poor/poorly paid people don't break the law because they're poor/poorly paid. If it were that simple, why do rich people break the law also?

Wages should be based on the value of the work, not relative to those the worker deals with, or relative to the worker's self-esteem.

As even the parent admits, we're not talking about people on the edge of existence--someone stealing a crust of bread just to survive another day. We're talking about people that have some and want some more. Someone with $10 who decides to break the law to get $100 doesn't suddenly become enlightened. They typically become with $100 who will break the law to get $1000.

Re:Its the Criminals, STUPID (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336701)

"Wages should be based on the value of the work, not relative to those the worker deals with, or relative to the worker's self-esteem."

What a novel concept: the idea that trades should involve the actual value of something. Sort of blows to bits the idea of minimum wage, living wage, etc.

Re:Its the Criminals, STUPID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16337233)


I won't even repeat such hog wash by quoting the parent post. Poor/poorly paid people don't break the law because they're poor/poorly paid. If it were that simple, why do rich people break the law also?


Are you a fucking retard? Of course it has an impact. That's why you don't pay your cops eight bucks an hour like a certain suburb of Chicago did awhile back and then figure out that the majority of them were corrupt. I don't give a shit what you say, there is causation. There IS a crime differential based on income level.

Re:Its the Economics, STUPID (1)

baba_geek (638850) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336647)

I beg to differ... The wages that an Indian worker gets might be low compared to the wages in the US but they are significantly higher than the average wage in India. In fact, if you take purchasing power parity (PPP) into account, an Indian call center employee can probably afford a higher standard of living than the people they are serving. Hence, Indian call center employees are likely to be a lot happier than the same employees in the US...

And you are basing this on what? Bull Crap? (1)

deadmongrel (621467) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336693)

And this applies to everyone? My customers make more than I do and I would be stealing from them to make myself better than others? What a load of crap and someone thinks that insightful.
Someone willing to steal will do so no matter how much money they make. There is no psycological phenomenon that generalizes "people" making less would steal from people making more.

Nope. India is just a morass of corruption. (4, Insightful)

frost22 (115958) | more than 7 years ago | (#16337337)

They can not even prosecute clear cut cases of murder, when there is ample proof.

Just a somwhat current example: the murder of Jessica Lal.

The victim, an attractive model, worked at the bar at a friend's party in a fancy restaurant. A son of a powerful politician comes in with his entourage and asks for a drink. She refuses to give him one, because the bar is already closed. The man - offended beeing refused in front of his friends - pulls a gun and shoots her direct in the face.

Numerous witnesses. Ample evidence. OJ Simpson was a mystery compared to that. And yet, after seven years of judical wrangling, the man walks away free (not that he ever spent a day in jail). Witnesses who can not remember anything, a police that just happens to destroy or devalue all evidence - the case stinks of corruption.

Its been a major scandal in India half a year ago. But only because the victim was well known and had many influential friends of her own. Had she been a simple rural woman, we wouldn't even know. Local observers note that affairs like that are standard practice - if you are rich enough in India, there is no law that applies to you, because everybody is corrupt and can be bought.

Don't believe me ? Just google for Jessica Lal, and read the whole sordid story.

Blame it on India! (3, Insightful)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336027)

Of course, there isn't any reason to believe that private data couldn't be illegally sold in the UK... or in the U.S., or France, or Canada, or Germany, or Japan, or whereever. In fact, data theft has most certainly happened in all those countries!

But you are going to have a salvo of posts demonizing India as a place to do buisness. People with either a xenophobic agenda, or a protectionist agenda will jump on this with the whole "India is evil! Don't outsource to India" paranoia and hysteria, when in fact there is no reason to believe your data is more secure anywhere else.

Re:Blame it on India! (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336065)

Indeed, as mentioned on The Register: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/10/05/india_expo sed/ [theregister.co.uk] It's just as bad elsewhere, however as with my original post in response to this story, the suggestion that data security in India is the best in the world is equally as ignorant a comment so I think we're all just as bad as each other ;)

Re:Blame it on India! (1)

merky1 (83978) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336217)

Actually, its more of a problem with outsourcing in general. The people handling the infrastructure you outsourced have very little invested in the success / failure of your project. The group that you outsourced to probably has enough of a customer base that your data as an entity is not that important to the bottom line.

I caught a recent episode of 30 days (by the guy who did SuperSize me), where they sent an american to work in India. One of the topics of discussion (towards the end, and they really breezed over it) was that even if the call center shut down for a day, the customers wouldn't mind since losing one day occassionally was still less than not outsourcing. Until the perceived risk is greater than the cost savings, outsourcing will continue, and data integrity will continue to degrade.

Re:Blame it on India! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16336291)

Yes, there are corrupt people everywhere. However, you miss the bigger picture. Now that data has leaked they have to deal with AT LEAST 2 different legal systems, and there is no guarentee that either one will necessarily cooperate with the other. The already small chance of actually apprehending the culprit and setting an example for others who would try to do the same is reduced even further. That is the real root of the issue.

Re:Blame it on India! (5, Insightful)

Danga (307709) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336315)

People with either a xenophobic agenda, or a protectionist agenda will jump on this with the whole "India is evil! Don't outsource to India" paranoia and hysteria, when in fact there is no reason to believe your data is more secure anywhere else.

There is a reason to believe my data would be more secure somewhere else and for me that would be here in the US. The reason it would be safer is because if someone were to sell my information working at a company here in the US then they would be held accountable to the laws we have against that and they would pay the price because I certainly would go after them myself if necessary. If the person who sells my data happens to be in another country then I would not have the choice to go after them myself and even though they most likely would lose their job their home country may not have any laws against what they did with my information so they could basically get away with it. So while there truly are "bad apples" everywhere there would be MUCH more deterent to sell someones personal information in a country that has laws against it than in a country where those laws do not exist.

I think if I was making $2/hr (I made that up, I don't know what the real number is but I am sure it is low compared to the US) while I knew I was being exploited for cheap labor and was offered a large sum of money in exchange for personal data knowing I would lose my job but not be in trouble legally that I would probably take the money and go hunting for a new job.

Basically I hope that some laws are passed in the US (and other countries) that already have laws guarding personal information to make sure if companies outsource access to that information that they are only allowed to outsource it to a country that has at least the same laws in regard to personal information. The best choice would to not outsource that information at all (so if the company in another country did not persue the employee legally I could do it myself) but at least this way if someone did do something with my personal information I would have some hope that they would be punished more than just losing their job.

Re:Blame it on India! (1)

daEnlitnd1 (637120) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336643)

If the person who sells my data happens to be in another country then I would not have the choice to go after them myself and even though they most likely would lose their job their home country may not have any laws against what they did with my information so they could basically get away with it.

Actually, it wouldn't matter. You would go after the company that you gave the information to in the first place. It would be their responsibility to ensure that your information is protected.

A List Of Bad Assumptions (1)

Petersko (564140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336677)

"The reason it would be safer is because if someone were to sell my information working at a company here in the US then they would be held accountable to the laws we have against that and they would pay the price because I certainly would go after them myself if necessary."

You can't be serious. You're trying to tell me that your data is safer because you have laws and accountability? People commit murders, traffick in drugs, break into homes, and yes, STEAL DATA, in the U.S. all the time, even though it's illegal to do so. Do you think India has no enforceable laws against IT workers stealing data? They are enjoying the economics of being a prime outsourcing provider right now, and they'll defend that.

"If the person who sells my data happens to be in another country then I would not have the choice to go after them myself and even though they most likely would lose their job their home country may not have any laws against what they did with my information so they could basically get away with it."

We're talking about India. Not some hypothetical lawless frontier.

"So while there truly are "bad apples" everywhere there would be MUCH more deterent to sell someones personal information in a country that has laws against it than in a country where those laws do not exist."

Gee. What a completely correct, but utterly pointless statement.

No Blame it on our Government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16336363)

I'll bite. I don't blame India, just our government. I don't think the US government is bad, just in bed with business. It disappoints me to watch the government go after allofmp3.com in Russia, a legal company - in an effort to close it down because of RIAA cronies. http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061005-7915 .html [arstechnica.com] It's ok that the RIAA and the MPAA can outsource labor to these countries. That simply make America more competitive (WTF that suppose to mean). However, that same goverment does not give a DAMN if your private data is thrown all over the world (Yes India that does include you and China). Do those same countries have strong IP laws for protection? This basically has been discussed before. Our Law enforcement can't reach overseas to India, but it sure can try to have Russian law changed. No protections for me or you on individual rights but certainly protections for the corporate world. I write this as a coward because I know the kind of response I'll receive.

Re:No Blame it on our Government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16336593)

I'll bite. I don't blame India, just our government. I don't think the US government is bad, just in bed with business.

I'll bite back. This was in the UK, not the US. From the introduction above (you don't even need to read the article): During the taping of the show thousands of U.K. bank customers had their personal information sold by the staff of a call center.

I write this as a coward because I know the kind of response I'll receive.

What, pointing out that you posted before reading? Heck, I do that sometimes. However, I don't assume that every story involving invasion of privacy has to be about the U.S. -- other countries have their own problems.

Re:Blame it on India! (0)

Murmer (96505) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336759)

The point is not "India is a bad place to do business". The point is "your data can be trivially moved from a place where its security is a legal requirement to a place where those laws don't apply."

I'd like to see privacy laws that include data-migration limits. Like "once you've agreed to a privacy statement, it is then illegal to move that data to another national jurisdiction", or something.

Re:Blame it on India! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16337215)

C'mon, it's just not xenophobic agenda, or a protectionist agenda. We have law and order situation also here. Or course, I am not saying UK or France or US is heaven where nothing like this happens; It does there to. But its lot more in India or Philippines because of abysmal law and order. WE all know how easy it is to bribe a police in India and get away with anything, including murder!

Good to know (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16336035)

It's good to know that there isn't anyone in America who'd do the same thing...

Is it necessarily just Indian call centres? (1)

Alicat1194 (970019) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336049)

While the report focuses on Indian call centres, has any research been done into centres in other countries? It may be that it's not an 'Indian-only' phenomenon, but something that happens everywhere else as well.

If the security is the best in the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16336051)

Then wouldn't the criminals have to be the best in the world to get past it? I haven't read the article yet, but saying that you have great security after said security fails is kind of silly to me. "Don't worry about that guy who picked your locks last night and stole all of your stuff. Your locks are the best in the world!"

Of course (1)

bytesex (112972) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336057)

I goes without saying that the security measures in Indian companies are among the best; why, with all those CMM level 5 companies, security comes for free !

Courts and Law (3, Insightful)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336061)

While I'm no fan of offshoring, in all fairness, it is true that data theft as described is not a problem unique to India. The real question is, how are these things handled by the courts and laws of the countries in which they occur? If there is some assurance that perpetrators will be brought to justice and things put to rights, as much as possible, then it may not be as big a deal. However, if the courts or laws are weak/corrupt and the penalties associated with data theft are laughable compared to the benefits, then you have a big problem. Many companies have been attracted to India and other countries by relatively cheap labor, but they really need to look at the rule and culture of law in any country they plan to do business in as well. This of course assumes that they are truly interested in benefitting the customer and haven't just added in data theft as a cost of doing business.

Re:Courts and Law (2, Interesting)

happyemoticon (543015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336589)

The real question is, how are these things handled by the courts and laws of the countries in which they occur?

"The Indian prosecutors had everything they needed to throw the book at them, until they found out that the police had stapled the CDs and floppies containing the data to their forms."

(elaboration from a story I heard about Indian police a few months ago)

Instead of being defensive about this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16336723)

Why not stop companies from being so careless with OUR data?

Our personal data is shared so willy-nilly by businesses and when our identity is stolen because of THEIR neglect, we are the ones who are stuck with the burden of proof, forever. Fo the rest of our lives we will have to prove that we were not the ones who ran up all that: debt, parking tickets, felonies, etc....

Re:Courts and Law (2, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336891)

While I'm no fan of offshoring, in all fairness, it is true that data theft as described is not a problem unique to India. The real question is, how are these things handled by the courts and laws of the countries in which they occur?

I think you're almost there.

The real question is what are the risks entailed by offshoring, and how do you prepare for them? The stance of authorities in the offshore countries is just part of that.

Let's assume for sake of argument that the law in the other country is aggressive about disclosures of private data. Great, so when this happens to you, where do you find yourself?

Well, the class action suit follows, it's certain that it's going to be in this country, with your company as the target. Why? Because the lawyers aren't going to bring suit in Offshoristan, they don't even know how.

Now you can hire a law firm in Offshoristan to recover the damages you have to pay under the class action. With any luck the wheels of justice turn faster there and you have the settlment in hand to pay off your customers.

If you outsource domestically, you still aren't off the hook, but when you point the finger at the outsourcing firm, it isn't telling the plaintiffs they have to go to Offshoristan to get relief, which I think will not go over well.

Which is not to say offshoring is a bad strategy, its just that you probably need to factor in some things, like the differences in law between the countries, the means you would use to recover any damages, and some form of insurance so you're not caught in between.

Re:Courts and Law (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16337079)

However, if the courts or laws are weak/corrupt and the penalties associated with data theft are laughable compared to the benefits, then you have a big problem.

The problem is how to stop these crimes, not punish people after they commit them. To this end we have to look at the motivation of the criminals. Having a lax criminal system may make them more likely to steal customer data and resell it, but it is by no means the primary factor. The main reason people don't steal is not out of threat of punishment. Most people put on an honor system and treated well, are honest. No the real problem comes when workers are treated unfairly in such a way that motivates them to steal because they do not find it to be unethical.

Many companies have been attracted to India and other countries by relatively cheap labor, but they really need to look at the rule and culture of law in any country they plan to do business in as well.

They need to look at the culture and the cultural differences, but not necessarily the legal culture. Do you want to find really high rates of crime? Don't look for the least punitive legal system. Look for the most unfairness. In particular, look for wage disparity. Whenever you have people who are not as smart and who don't work as hard making orders of magnitude more than others, you'll see high crime. People recognize the inherent unfairness in one not very nice person being born into excessive wealth while they are born poor, have little chance to advance and desperately need just a fraction of what the rich person wasted on clothes to feed their kids this month. So, many turn to crime, often not even those who are poorest.

With India and the US, you have several problems. One, the highest paid people in the "chain of command" are all Americans. Second, they don't work very hard and were born into relative wealth, in a rich country where they did not have to work all that hard. Third, not only do they not work hard and enjoy disproportionate luxury, they don't treat those they hire as people. American business treats workers dispassionately. You can be laid off from a job you need to feed your kids because of a decision by someone who does not even know you and they tell you "it's just business." At that point taking the customer database and selling it is "just business." The truth is, the cost of building worker loyalty, treating them well, and making sure they know the company will look after them is usually cheaper in the long run than the cost of having everyone in the company behave adversarially and having to try to monitor them all as potential threats. Unless American companies can look to the long term instead of net quarter, these problems will only become more common.

News flash! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16336075)

Companies caught off guard about offshore pitfalls! details at 11!

I get a kick out of companies that act suprised that when they have their product manufacturered in china, grey/black market knock offs hit the market the same time or earlier than their product does.

Data getting stolen and resold,

Software getting resold in russia or elsewhere :-) gotta love that one! get your product written offshore and then act suprised when your product surfaces as a for sale product elsewhere.

I have seen all the above recently.. an internal application that gave us the edge was outsourced and then mysteriousally a 100% identical product was for sale 1 month later in europe.

yeah, saving a few bucks by outsourcing is a great idea! When can we outsource the middle and upper management? I am sure 2nd and 3rd wolrd countries can do a far better job than the idiots we have running our companies now.

The boss of Nasscom (0, Troll)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336085)

" Sunil Mehta, a vice president at Nasscom"

I saw a picture [www.cswu.cz] of this guy once.

Re:The boss of Nasscom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16336323)

Duh, Dear Indians and other outsource takers. Stop stealing worthless data.

Please steal My personal details instead, i will pay you 10$ each year to make me remember my anniversary ..

  Please Please ?!

What can you say (3, Interesting)

Garette (206805) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336087)

A related atricle on BBC.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5405438.stm [bbc.co.uk]
Not every Indian is necessarily corrupt. However, even an handful can ruin the reputation of the entire bunch. The Indian Govt. has to crack down really hard on the people caught seeling the data.

PS: I am an Indian too...

What can anyone say anywhere? (2, Insightful)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336121)

"Not every Indian is necessarily corrupt. However, even an handful can ruin the reputation of the entire bunch. The Indian Govt. has to crack down really hard on the people caught selling the data."

Substitute "American" for "Indian" in that sentence. Then start going down the line with other countries. P.S. I am an American too.

Wow... (1)

certain death (947081) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336091)

I knew this would happen...Not that I am some great predictive mind, but I knew it. I stopped using Bank Of America when they made their IT people train their own replacements in India (and other countries). When this fellow says that their security is the best, I wonder exactly what that means...Do they have patched and updated systems, do they use top tier vendors for their security hardware (firewalls, etc) do they practice and follow the same financial/disclosure regulations that American companies have to? (SoX, HIPAA, etc). Do they do background checks on all of their employees, and if they get a hit, do they not hire that peson? I have a million questions for this guy, do you think we can line up our questions and have the answered? I doubt it. I am damn near to the point that I am going to move to freaking Alaska, cut my Internet connection, and start living off the land!!! This identity theft crap is about to push me over the edge! Anyone else feel this way?

Re:Wow... (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16337017)

No, I don't. Who fucking cares if somebody gets my credit card info? Sure, it's a PITA to deal with, but a credit score just an imaginary number. It's just the grown-up world's version of "your permanent record". Big deal. If you think that your credit and money is your "identity", then you need to maybe step back and reconsider your priorities. Living in a cabin is a nice idea, but I wouldn't do it over something as trivial as my financial records. It's just money. They print more every day. My identity has nothing to do with banking. If my credit gets ruined, I'll just use cash. It's no big deal, unless you're caught up in the consumerist rat race. I consider that to be a very sick and twisted version of reality, though.

Re:Wow... (1)

certain death (947081) | more than 7 years ago | (#16337285)

No...It is my identity that I worry about. Say someone gets your SSN, they can go get a Drivers License and become you. I do not use credit cards, but everyone and their mother require you SSN to do business with you, you use it to get a job, you use it for almost ALL government transactions. When someone becomes you, they can do things in your name, not just ruin your credit, but things like commit crimes, etc. That is what worries me, not credit or money.

Re:Wow... (1)

jnf (846084) | more than 7 years ago | (#16337027)

-- It's not Area 51 I'm worried about- it's Areas 1 through 50.

Is this a joke or do you know what many of those areas are? (i.e. NTS/etc).

corruption in India (1, Offtopic)

dhuv (241988) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336119)

I think the problem lies with the attitude that the majority of the people have in India. To this day there is widespread corruption throughout the entire government and this process has been accepted by a majority of the people because they grow up with it as kids. In India, kids bribe the cops when they ride around on scooters without a license and get caught.

This leaves many of the people without a sense of ethics because they consider bribes just part of life.

Dont get me wrong, many of the people are not bad inherently, you dont see school shootings in India like you do in the US, but there is the issue of ethics because kids grow up in that environment and accept it. (Similar to the extermists that think Americans are evil, they really do think that because that is what they grew up around)

This is not going to change overnight, it will take atleast a couple of generations to change.

Re:corruption in India (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336947)

Ok... lets bring it to the point, you are in a job, where you can barely survive on the salary, someone wants to give you a sum you probably can live all your life like a king where you live for something you probably easily can get away with uncaught, so what are the chances even in the west that you say no. As for the america being evil thing, simply stop being evil outside of the us, and you will become accepted by the rest of the world, like you used to be...

Well, in my case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16336135)

The first ever spam started pouring into my inbox (I never ever ever used my work e-mail address to register anywhere on any website for whatever purpose) after I conducted an e-mail business communication with an Indian company. If none from their company sold my address to spammers, then their ISP did it!

In any case, transmitting your e-mail address to India is like posting it in the open.

It's not that it's everywhere that's the problem! (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336137)

It's that it is beyond the reach of local law enforcement which complicates things.

Let's say that the same crime happpens locally. Local laws are applied against local criminals. If I recall correctly, the last time this issue was discussed, "identity theft" and related fraud weren't necessarily a crime in India or at least they didn't have the same level of urgency out there. Whatever the case, there is no guarantee that the handling of these problems would reflect the same level of justice as it would locally due to disparity of law enforcement priority, communications among law enforcement, etc.

On the other hand, if we had some sort of international treaty regarding these matters, that might balance out the problem. For example, all employees of these call centers should be made to operate under the laws of the city, state and nation of the company they are representing and if they are suspected of being in criminal violation of such laws, they should be extradited to the city, state or nation for criminal prosecution.

But in my opinion, that wouldn't really be enough. These people are simply too far out of reach to be held accountable. I just feel like we're at risk having some rather critical information exported to other countries for processing where our laws and regulations do not necessarily apply. It's bad enough when it happens here on our own soil, but at least we can take SOME action against it. Internationally, it's just all the more complicated.

Re:It's not that it's everywhere that's the proble (1)

fdiskne1 (219834) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336607)

I just feel like we're at risk having some rather critical information exported to other countries for processing where our laws and regulations do not necessarily apply.

Too late. Your personal credit information is already there. I had a problem getting a credit report from one of the credit reporting agencies. When I called them to be sure they took care of the problem, the phone was answered by someone with such a heavy Indian accent I could barely understand him. The first question out of his mouth was "What is your social security number?" I wrote to my senator and congressman and state's attorney general (Republican AND Democrat). They all say that it is perfectly legal for credit reporting agencies to send our information out of the country and that there is no more risk from Indian companies than from American companies. I disagree and it pisses me off but there is absolutely nothing I can do except tell my congresscritters my thoughts and vote accordingly. There's nothing I can do to prevent the companies from accumulating this information on me and shipping it out of the country.

Re:It's not that it's everywhere that's the proble (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#16337143)

LoL.

So I'm going to be paying for an $1,800 ticket to fly someone to the states for punishment now.

By Grapthar's hammer. What a savings.

Credit card numbers anyone? (1)

SanderDJ (1004445) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336143)

(imagine Indian accent) Hello? Yes, you want credit card numbers? Of course sir, no problem sir. How many would you like to have? 100,000? Certainly sir. I will e-mail them to you now sir. Anything else? No? Have a nice day sir. Thank you sir.

Re:Credit card numbers anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16336413)

(imagine Indian accent)

* tries to imagine humor *
* doesn't succeed *

Stick to your day job.

I watched this, (3, Interesting)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336151)

last night, people were selling amazing amounts of information. One person claimed (and showed a recording as proof) to have actual voice recordings of people handing over credit card and security numbers...

Whilst this might be just a few bad apples it does make the whole sector look bad, and I'm not sure I want to be giving my card numbers to compainies who outsource so readily without checking fully what staff are up to.

Interestingly though was the response from the banks, which amounted to "so what". They really don't care. Whenever someone is a victim of fraud through these, or other, means they simply pay up and give the customer their money back, which apparently is cheaper than making sure that it doesn't happen - besides not everyone will notice, and they profit from the people who are scammed and don't notice

Re:I watched this, (3, Interesting)

REBloomfield (550182) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336491)

I saw it too, and realised where the three cold calls i recieved earlier this year may have originated from. I was called on my mobile by an middle eastern sounding man or woman, and told that they could move me to a much better contract, and if i was happy they could go ahead and make the change straight away as they had all the details they needed. They hung up when I demanded to know what details they had and where they got them from. Scary stuff; I'm careful with my details, and I haven't bought a mobile 'phone over the 'phone or online like most of the people mentioned.

It was eye opening for my wife, she had no idea how easy it was to commit fraud with a few card details and the CSV number on the back. She doesn't buy anything remotely, so wouldn't know better, but i was shocked that many people could be this open to potential fraud.

Banks move call centers, we pay the price. (2, Interesting)

Trifthen (40989) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336185)

I saw this coming last year when several banks here stated they were moving many services unrelated to call centers, out of the US for financial reasons. It would appear that people generally don't care about others, which is only exacerbated by national identity detracting from emotional identification. What does an Indian care about some schmuck from the UK? About as much some guy in the UK cares about an Indian.

Then again, it could be argued that by sending financial services to the lowest bidder, banks are encouraging wholesale fraud. It's probably a combination of many factors, these only being the low-hanging fruit. I'd like to think banks would be more responsible with our money, but apparently charging outrageous interest rates on loans and transactions isn't enough of a profit.

The best in the world (1)

gutnor (872759) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336193)

"Security measures and practices that Indian companies have are the best in the world."

And what about the rest of world like US, Japan, Europe ?

Well, I guess the "best in the world" just follow "cutting edge", "breakthrough", "leading", "enterprise", "professional" in the list of expressions Marketing department sucked the meaning.

Mind you, I'm not bashing India, that happens everywhere: in Europe Spain, France and Belgium all declared at various time that they have the best healthcare system in the world ...

In other news (0, Offtopic)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336249)

Michael Corleone critized the NYPD for refusing to release half a dozen of his family members, councelors and buddies. He argued that the NYPD should corporate to root out the bad apples under the mafiosos, which in essence consists of his competition.

Mr. Corleone is quoted as stating: "There are bad apples in every industry around the world, and these incidents happen in the Ukraine as well as in St. Petersburg and Tokyo. Our practices are the best and most efficient in the world".

offshore identity theft too (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336265)

Why should IT and manufacturing be the only ones benefiting from offshoring? Let crime do so also!

(I think this might be a joke, but its not funny.)

Call center employees shouldn't be able to do this (4, Insightful)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336313)

If the company designed its security and auditing correctly, call center employees should never have the ability to do this in the first place. Why are they trusting call center employees with wholesale access to customers' private data? Competent companies will require the employees to provide an explanation every time they access a record, and these will be tied to their phone records to make sure they are only accessing information relevant to their current task. A good audit trail, flagging unusual access behavior, combined with limiting access only to individual records at a time would have stopped these breaches.

Yes, some of these outsourced call centers are inexpensive because they don't do things like this. But you get what you pay for, right?

This is why I don't outsource (2, Insightful)

Serveert (102805) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336353)

I don't believe in cuttting corners, I don't think that's a long term strategy. For example, I don't hire people I don't trust. I hear people talking about outsourcing and they mention giving them a part of the non-critical portion of the code. Why bring these people on board who you don't trust? Short term profit? What about long term profit when these people you don't trust steal the rest of your code and compete against you?

Or, since you're just looking at them on a cost basis, paying them as little as possible, they aren't motivated. So their productivity is lower. I believe you should hire people and give them ownership and high pay. That's a long term strategy. All these companies outsourcing right now are going to get a rude awakening down the line.

Re:This is why I don't outsource (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16337217)

I believe you should hire people and give them ownership and high pay. That's a long term strategy.

In general I agree with you, but sometimes outsourcing does make sense. The conditions for this are, tasks that are outside the core competency of your organization, where there is sufficient competition, and where failure is not disastrous. The company I work for treats us very well. We also outsource some work to foreign nations. The thing is, we make sure the code we contract them for is modular and while we don't treat them with distrust, we also don't give them access to all our code. For small companies in particular it may make sense to outsource the development of chunks of code that is not vital, but which provides added value. We know the risks associated with it, but the cost savings is important right now. We're also in a field where good workers are sometimes hard to find. We almost always have open slots for people because we're rapidly growing and coders who meet our high standards are hard to come by. I just thought it was important to note that outsourcing really does make sense for some situations, just not in the long term for many of those situations to which it is currently being applied by American companies.

I'm shocked... shocked... (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336477)

to discover people making 15% of 1st world wages can be corrupted with large amounts of money for valuable private data.

It would be no different in the 1st world-- except it would take about six times as much money to corrupt them at the same level.

Just The Tip of The Iceberg (2, Insightful)

aldheorte (162967) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336509)

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Consider what happens to code development shipped offshore. It amuses me that businesses with strict non-open source code policies offshore code development because it's pretty much a de facto, if unofficial, grant of open source. It's even worse when people use offshore resources for "secret" prototype development and the such in an attempt to save money on project startup. I cannot think of a worse venue to put confidential new development into.

This problem is a compound problem. First you have low wage workers that are more likely to succumb to temptation of selling such secrets. Second, you have jurisdictional problems - technically you could make a legal claim through treaties and the like, but the hassles and delays would take years and years to resolve and probably give no real satisfaction (this is why I say de facto in the above, even if you disallow something, if there is no real useful legal remedial process behind it, whatever agreed is basically unenforcable). Third, there are cultural problems where intellectual property and consumer privacy are fairly artificial constructs of the legal systems of developed countries.

The bottom line is that this is only going to get worse and I imagine that Western companies will soon face legal liability for outsourcing in two ways:

1. To shareholders for assigning development to offshore resources that results in compromise of trade secrets or the like.
2. To consumers for breaches of privacy and resulting identify theft and the like.

The companies will argue that they entered into contractual agreements with third parties so it wasn't their fault, but I suspect that many of these cases could and will be successfully pressed on the basis of a lack of due diligence, especially against the backdrop of known incidents such as this.

Some hackers tried this in the 70s (2, Informative)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336679)

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Consider what happens to code development shipped offshore.

It would be easy for someone to slip in a virus to round off the fractions of a cent in the interest computations and put the remainders in an account.

You just need someone who knows the credit union software to install it.

Re:Some hackers tried this in the 70s (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 7 years ago | (#16337081)

Yeah, like Michael Bolton and Samir. Just make sure Lundberg doesn't catch you, or he'll make you come in on Sunday....

Re:Just The Tip of The Iceberg (1)

theneb (732287) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336781)

The parent brings up some pretty good points. Not only is this a problem in software but also in harwdware where chip layout design, analysis, synthesis etc are also outsourced. These can also be sold to different companies at huge prices. I think the only pepole who are benifitting from this temperorily are high level execs in the west who are reaping the profits of cheap labour and fattened profits. Ironically they are also digging the grave for their own countries, by offshoring desing level jobs (already effects of this can be seen) and not fostering innovation locally. 20 years down the road, if we dont do something about this, things are going to turn upside down. Where do you even start with this when this is totally being accepted by both worlds, the outsouring and the outsourced?

Cheap shot journalism (2, Insightful)

nuggz (69912) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336567)

These type of "fear the indian call center" play really well because they hit such a high number of issues.

ID theft- scary, currently a nice hot issue.

Privacy - little recourse for violations,

Offshoring - They're stealing jobs!!
Jobs people don't want. FWIW there are some larger call centers in various parts of North America that are growing.

Indian accents - some people have trouble with them.

Racism - Some people just don't like them even if we solve all the other issues.

This is just cheap shot journalism at an easy target that gets people upset. This same type of privacy violation can and does happen in every part of the first world.

nonsense (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16336841)

if you had watched the program you would of seen them talk to UK callcenter employees who could supply the same data, the only reason they went to India was because of the numbers, UK employees wanted 10-50 times what the Indians wanted for each piece of data and they (indians) could supply them in much larger quantities (100,000 fresh details per month) so as responsible jounalist do they followed the big fish not the little minnows

Re:Cheap shot journalism (1)

faraway (174370) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336959)

The question shouldn't be whether 'this happens in every part of the first world' or not, it is whether the information theft is more prevalent in an (non-'first world') environment that is dealing with our (first world) personal information more and more as companies off-shore to poorer countries like India. India has a GDP per capita of $3344, that places the average monthly salary somewhere near $300? Someone making $300 a month working long long hours might be more inclined to *steal* from people who make much more than them, of a different race, of a different nationality, 4000+ miles away to achieve their own selfish goals (whether feeding their family or buying nice first world goods at first world prices - after all, trust me, they're not wiping their asses with Charmin Plus Aloe toilet paper, last time I went to a non-first world country I learned that really quickly). Not to say the same isn't true in first world countries with rich people also stealing (Enron?) for their own selfish reasons. But again the main question is: is it more prevalent there, and is there a system to punish these people? If you haven't lived outside the first-world you really don't understand how 'having laws against something' and 'having laws against something enforced' are two completely different (on a magnitude not comparable to the first world) things with the latter being a huge problem in none-first world countries.

Re:Cheap shot journalism (2, Insightful)

jnf (846084) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336971)

I didn't RTFA, but it should hit a very important point. When I worked in the banking industry we had four or five bases of operation in India, we then had a problem that no one really wanted to talk about- we couldn't do background checks on the employee's in India, so we were not even in compliance with our own policies. This was a huge issue because these people had access that ranged from nothing to administrative access over all of the workstations and some of servers.

Think about that for a moment and then tell me it's still racism.

Re:Cheap shot journalism (1)

Lactoso (853587) | more than 7 years ago | (#16337101)

Yes, it's a sensationalistic story. The only way it could be better is if it was found that the Republicans were shipping bagged spinach to India as payment for these call centers. :-)

And I agree with all of your points but one. 'Indian accents'. I don't see people having a problem with Indian accents specifically (as opposed to Chinese, Russian, Filipino, whatever), but rather with their attitudes. While India may have a very large population of technically proficient, English speaking (as a second language) people, the people themselves are from an entirely different culture. They very often come across as patronizing and then quickly escalate to hostile. More so than other nationalities IMO.

Then again, I've had many incidents of dealing with American 'support specialists', who speak English (as a first language) and are very nice, but are just really stupid (or frustratingly reticent to depart from their support script). So, frankly, I'm not sure what's worse. An Indian with great technical knowledge but poor communication skills, or an American with great communication skills and poor technical knowledge.

Re:Cheap shot journalism (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#16337185)

Offshoring - They're stealing jobs!!
Jobs people don't want. FWIW there are some larger call centers in various parts of North America that are growing.

Jobs people don't want? what you mean like programming? or the thousands of people that have been fired so there call center/support job can go to india?

To say migrant works do jobs most people don't want is true(ever pick strawberries for a day?); many people want office jobs.

Also.. (1)

FeralTitan (904608) | more than 7 years ago | (#16336687)

I think we should also worry about the guys who are paying for this illegally sourced data - in my opinion that is where the problem begins.

everything is cheaper in India (1)

ashwinds (743227) | more than 7 years ago | (#16337001)

....including crime. People can be bought off for lesser. This is sad, but true.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...