Private records may be at risk

Monday, 1 December 2003, 11:10 AM EST

Someone in Asia may be looking at your income tax returns or reading sensitive doctors' notes about your medical history.

That may sound like another nightmare case of Internet hackers cracking into sensitive computer files. But it's actually the type of highly sensitive data that U.S. corporations are increasingly making available to overseas workers, who are now doing everything from processing Americans' credit-card bills to making sure you returned a rental movie on time.

To date, the outsourcing of back-office jobs to other countries - from India to the Ukraine - has not led to a major breach of privacy or a proven case of identity theft by a foreign worker.

But the outsourcing industry was given a major scare recently when a Pakistani woman, who works in Asia and transcribes medical notes about Americans, threatened to post patients' records on the Internet unless she got a raise.

[ Read more ]




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