According to recent reports in the Fairfax press, corrupt insiders in Indian call centres are selling information about Australian telco customers, primarily those of Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.
In the CWU’s view, nothing could be more predictable.
The reports say that the information is sold to third parties who in turn on-sell it to clients for anywhere between $350 and $1,000 depending on the status of the customer.
The CWU raised the issue of data security with Telstra only a few weeks ago in another context and was assured that the company’s customer data was well protected.
But it seems Telstra’s data may not be as secure as it thought. And why would it be?
There is always a risk of security breaches wherever such information is handled and stored. But offshoring adds to that risk by weakening the connection between employees, the company for which they (indirectly) work and the end customers they serve.
At a distance, it’s just all data, not people, you’re dealing with.
Add to that the incentives for low wage employees to make an extra dollar and you have the ideal environment for just this sort of scam.
The CWU believes that the most obvious thing for Australian telcos to do is to bring the call centre work back home.
What Telstra, Optus and Vodafone may be saving through low wages they are losing in reputational damage, while at the same time incurring the costs involved in detecting and guarding against these practices.
The CWU will be continuing to pursue the issue with the companies involved.