Thursday, March 18, 2004

Off-shoring protectionism bills proposed

InformationWeek has an article regarding some bills that seek to cause companies to prove that offshored coding is secure.

From the article:

"Figueroa, who authored California's medical-records privacy law, considered by many to be the strongest in the nation, also is sponsoring bills to require California employers to notify the state and employees if they plan to move 20 or more jobs overseas and to prohibit state contracts from being fulfilled offshore."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., asked the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency earlier this month to investigate whether banks that process customers' financial data offshore have safeguards to protect that data from unauthorized use. In Arizona, proposed legislation would bar companies from shipping financial data outside the country without written permission from consumers. A proposal in South Carolina would prevent companies from giving "financial, credit, or identifying information" to a call-center representative abroad without the individual's written permission.

Some IT executives aren't convinced that privacy can be guaranteed in offshore settings. "It's a risk factor," says Tom Tabor, CIO at medical-insurance provider Highmark Inc. Tabor says that's one reason his company hasn't outsourced much of its business-process work, though he notes that privacy violations can happen "anywhere in the world, including the U.S."

One really good quote from the article is from Chris Larsen, CEO of E-Loan:

"The right balance is to let the consumer decide," says Chris Larsen, CEO of E-Loan Inc. The online lender is testing a program that lets customers choose to have their mortgage applications processed here or by a service provider in India, which cuts two days off the processing time. Since the test launched March 1, 85% of customers who've applied have chosen the offshore option. "People understand what they're doing and the consequences in terms of jobs," Larsen says

What would be interesting would be to see some the statistics on what the consumers are actually choosing to do in the E-Loan situation

No comments: