Credit reporting agencies delivering our files abroad – sfgate

A credit report works as a snapshot of a person’s legal identity and financial status. It has an individual’s name, address, birth date, Ssn and information on relationships with all of credit-card providers along with other lenders.

Emery also stated the choice to "offshore" a vital customer support was necessitated by "your competition put on us by Equifax and Experian."

Equifax, he stated, was the very first major legal action to maneuver operations abroad, creating a center within the Caribbean. Experian, meanwhile, is "positively testing" readily overseas affiliate, Emery stated.

"We’d to get involved with this method for defensive reasons," he stated.

An Equifax spokesman’s first response when requested concerning the Atlanta company’s outsourcing ended up being to insist that customer support was handled at United States facilities. Faced with TransUnion’s remarks, though, a senior Equifax official later offered another answer.

"There exists a vendor in Jamaica," stated Take advantage of Hogan, senior v . p . of customer services. "The Jamaican workers handle data entry in the very start of the reinvestigation process (for disputed credit history)."

He stated the overseas workers had "limited access" to consumers’ credit files but were "carefully supervised by our Atlanta office."

Hogan acknowledged that Equifax had had "problems every so oftenInch with consumers’ privacy being compromised. But he stated each problem had brought to enhancements in security. Also, he stated there was no known security breaches within the 4 years that Equifax has outsourced to Jamaica.

"We take great proper care of our data," Hogan stressed. "It’s our livelihood."

An Experian spokesman, Addrian Brooks, denied Trans Union’s assertion the Costa Mesa clients are now "positively testing" a foreign operation. "We’re certain that Trans Union does not understand what our plans are because we do not understand what their plans are," he stated.

However, Brooks frequently emphasized that Experian could delegate work abroad anytime.

"We certainly are evaluating every option up for grabs, and offshoring is one,Inch he stated. "I’d rather not be quoted as saying we’ll never get it done.Inch

Privacy advocates repeat the outsourcing of credit agencies’ work abroad —

and therefore use of U.S. consumers’ credit files — dramatically boosts the chance that private information can get in to the wrong hands.

"Consumers ought to be worried," stated Janet Givens, director from the Privacy Legal rights Clearing House in North Park. "The infrastructure to safeguard information just is not there in many these places."

Credit industry officials bristle at such talk.

"Shall we be stating that Hindus tend to be more criminal?" requested Stuart Pratt, president from the Consumer Data Industry Association, a trade group for credit- reporting agencies. "Shall we be stating that workers in India are less safe? That strikes me as xenophobic, and I’d rather not visit.Inch

But privacy advocates state that this is not an issue of people’s being pretty much reliable in one location or any other. It is a question of enforcement of strict U.S. laws and regulations.

"The issue is not too they are in India," stated Chris Hoofnagle, affiliate director from the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington. "However , American laws and regulations will not be enforced in India."

Actually, the Indian government, largely in the advocating of privacy- conscious European officials, is focusing on new legislation targeted at better manipulating the country’s quickly growing data-processing industry.

But privacy advocates observe that India passed an identical cyber-crime law in the past which makes it illegal to steal information from computers. Since that time, only 11 individuals have been billed with violating what the law states and, of this number, 3 cases are now being prosecuted.

Credit reporting agencies delivering our files abroad - sfgate not an issue of

"If you are an worldwide crime ring, and also you want Social Security figures for id theft, you are going to check out the weakest link," stated Givens in the Privacy Legal rights Clearinghouse. "And that is potentially these overseas companies."

The loan-rating agencies state that security and privacy are their most significant factors and they hold overseas affiliates towards the same high standards they hold their domestic offices.

However, California’s two Democratic senators expressed alarm the agencies are outsourcing work.

"The use of American law abroad is tough, otherwise impossible," stated Sen. Dianne Feinstein. "Therefore, the greater companies move overseas, the less American law can control the ways to use which private data is defined. Which are only able to represent an growing threat towards the privacy in our citizens."

Sen. Barbara Boxer stated she’d be sure that the matter was elevated as senators and House people completed changes towards the Fair Credit Rating Act.

"This post is very significant, and that i plan to make certain the conferees who’re finalizing the balance understand the Chronicle’s analysis hoping that they’ll safeguard Americans from such crazy invasions of privacy," Boxer stated.


Ali Thanawalla on journalism, SFGate, and other things