I use the “Centre” spelling in the article title with malice aforthought, since the news item is out of India, discusses an upcoming documentary to be shown on Britain’s Channel 4, and reports the reaction of the Australian public. A article in The Hindu News Update Service states the British documentary will show personal banking information — including account information — bought and sold on the streets of India. According to the report, Australians would prefer to bank at financial institutions that keep their financial data on-shore rather than off-shore.
I have to admit that my first thought after I read this article was “how can VoIP fix this?” Certainly VoIP an/or cheap telephony is part of the problem; that’s likely how the calls went overseas in the first place. Almost inevitably, the data followed, and now bank customers may be paying the price.
But before we panic, I’d like to point out that financial data theft happens here in the US; you can buy and sell ATM card information over the Internet. I suspect the real question is whether similar call center leaks happen here in the US — what’s the baseline? After all, US call centers are an established industry, handle lots of money, and have a transient work force. I imagine that it’s easy enough to steal financial information if you’re a call center employee.
But to return to the original question: Can VoIP help instead of making the problem worse? Or will the contnued use of VoIP to drive business to the lowest-cost location inevitably lead to theft, and an inevitable backlash against outsourcing? Or should the VoIP community wash its hands of these problems and pray that someone else fixes them?