12 August 2003

A government action to address offshoring that makes sense

Finally, the mainstream media is awash in a rash of articles on the migration of white collar jobs to offshore locales. Here's a recent article that should get every American fuming - and it's a scenario that I've personally experienced in a previous job assignment.

Some of the proposed solutions to this epidemic would invoke more harm than good and would trigger a spate of unintended consequences. However, one idea that I've read seems logical, sensible and a sure fire way to put a clamp on the selling out of knowledge jobs in America.

Forbid, by law, the access and display of U.S. customer data outside the United States. If you use your American Express card, your account information is available to third world denizens not bound by U.S. law. Recently, I worked on projects related to health care privacy (HIPAA), but it seems a giant joke to put rules and restrictions on access to patient data when the computer systems that contain this data are easily accessed by foreign workers.

Why should foreign nationals and unscrupulous indivduals working in third world countries where bribes are made to achieve any official end (read this article on the "Living Dead" in India ) can provide your personal information to any unsavory agent?

Perhaps folks who don't feel sympathetic towards IT workers losing their jobs to offshore "transformation" (that's the word for outsourcing at the company I work at now ... well, at least for the next couple weeks), will agree that porting their personal customer data to the third world is not a prudent course.


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