Looking Offshore
March 29, 2004 12:47 PM   Subscribe

Looking Offshore How one offshore worker sent tremor through medical system In an ongoing Chronicle series on the ramifications of shifting U.S. jobs and services overseas, this installment focuses on the threat to individual privacy when companies send sensitive financial and personal data offshore.
posted by Postroad (10 comments total)
Posted (sort of) earlier. Interestingly, the relevant article is re-hashed by the same journalist in the same paper. Meta-double-post?
posted by mkultra at 1:05 PM on March 29, 2004

I just want to know where these transcription-job-websites are, so I can spend my free time transcribing medical records for profit.
posted by nomisxid at 2:35 PM on March 29, 2004

Google transcription. Heh.
posted by Mossy at 2:49 PM on March 29, 2004

I'm not sure how this is unique to jobs being shipped offshore. Lot's of people in the U.S. get screwed in business dealings as well and some of those people would resort to extortion, even if the leverage for their extortion were your medical records.
posted by substrate at 2:55 PM on March 29, 2004

I was joking, I know how to google =p

Substrate makes a good point. I was once a 3rd level removed subcontractor for a programming job once. Invoicing the contractor above me was a pain, and they paid slow and sporadically. One period, they're 2 weeks late with paying an invoice, so I call up their office to find out what's going on, only to find out the whole company had gone to Mexico on a 2-week vacation. I went to the original client, and told them I couldn't continue working for them if I didn't get paid by someone soon.
posted by nomisxid at 3:49 PM on March 29, 2004

I think the chiniblitts are becoming a little funted, but we've gotta fix it up a bit.

It's pretty obvious that things are coming for it, though the naysayers are totally remingtoned.
posted by angry modem at 3:53 PM on March 29, 2004

It seems insane that there are so many generations of contractors involved in the chain. Surely, to maintain control and accountability, something as sensitive as medical records should either be done in-house or by a contracting company that can be held directly accountable for their work?
posted by dg at 7:36 PM on March 29, 2004

Agreed dg. You'd think federal privacy laws would forbid this sort of information being shipped to countries that don't have privacy laws in place. But they don't, and it is. I tell ya, with all the bank and medical information being managed offshore in privacy-free environments...there are days when it's only the tiniest sliver of ethics that keeps me from crossing a few puddles, hoisting a black flag and joining the burgeoning market of "research services".
posted by dejah420 at 7:51 PM on March 29, 2004

It seems insane that there are so many generations of contractors involved in the chain.

Different industry all together, but this is the way companies like Nike and others manage to have plausible deniability (ah, the legacies of Reagan's America!) about the use of sweatshop labour. They hire middlemen (often Korean, these days, after the movement of that sort of labour out of Korea around the time democracy arrived here to places where the slaves are cheaper (and because the Koreans wanted to keep making money from the industry, and are legendary as ruthless ass-kickers when it comes to exploitation)) to actually contract the labourers.

Win-win, except of course for the women locked into the steel barns somewhere in China or the Philippines.

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:54 PM on March 29, 2004

You'd think federal privacy laws

Such things are basically only now beginning to come into existence, at least as regards digital data.
posted by kindall at 12:18 AM on March 30, 2004

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