There's been a lot of attention paid to "pretexting" -- the practice of posing as someone else in order to gain access to their personal data -- lately in the wake of the HP scandal. However, a British TV program has shown that there's more than one way to skin the identity fraud cat, as an undercover reporter was offered the personal details of 100,000 UK bank customers, stolen by offshore call-center workers. The knee-jerk reaction is simply to point the finger at outsourcing and offshoring, but they're largely irrelevant to the situation. Lax corporate security and indifferent attitudes towards data breaches certainly aren't restricted to a particular country, industry or line of work, so the suggestion that banks and other companies that allow offshored workers access to personal financial information could simply solve the problem by bringing outsourced functions back in-house is inaccurate. Quite clearly, many companies' security policies are inadequate, unenforced or nonexistent, whether for in-house employees or external suppliers, and there's currently little motivation for them to take the problem seriously. Whether data is kept internally or shared with offshore workers doesn't really seem to matter -- it doesn't appear particularly secure either way.
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