CMP Media's Managing Offshore Publishes a Study on Transparent Offshoring
Study Illustrates that Despite Persistent Customer Concerns Few American Corporations Use Privacy Policies to Disclose Details of Offshored Services
Dec 8, 2004
CMP Media's Managing Offshore, the essential guide for in-depth reports on global sourcing, today unveiled a study in the December issue entitled 'The Case for Transparent Offshoring,' that examines what U.S. corporations risk by keeping customers in the dark about how and where their data is handled.
In preparing the report more than three dozen corporate-privacy policies, mostly from blue-chip companies in the retail, financial services, IT, and manufacturing sectors were studied. Barbara Lawler, chief privacy officer of HP was also interviewed about HP's attempts to balance and satisfy the competing forces of customer transparency and corporate independence. A sidebar to the study illustrates that E-Loan is transparent about its offshoring activities, though eBay deserves high marks too for disclosing its use of outsourcing services.
The study also explores evidence indicating that failing to disclose the offshoring of customer data may not be a sustainable, corporate policy, considering these points:
* Leaving customers in the dark about how and where their personal data is handled denies them a chance to opt-in to the process. * Corporations are building customer-service and business process outsourcing (BPO) strategies around the legally untested practice of locating customer data onshore, but enabling offshore workers (outsourced or captive) to view or amend these records. * The "seals of approval" provided by well-known privacy consortiums TRUSTe and BBB Online do not require participating corporations to disclose customer-service delivery locations. * The European Union, not the U.S., is the world leader in defining data- protection privacy practices and standards. Some U.S. companies disclose more to overseas customers about data handling than they do to domestic customers. * Laws governing American corporations and business practices such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPPA and Graham-Leach-Bliley Act are mandating greater transparency, not opaqueness.
"The offshoring of services is a critical and often necessary part of corporate strategies to compete in global markets," says Rusty Weston, founding editor, Managing Offshore and editor, InformationWeek Research for CMP Media. "Most corporations are reluctant to disclose the offshoring of customer service for fear of stirring up controversy. But the silence means that consumers are unable to opt-in to the process and corporations are failing to make a positive case for these practices. Consequently, this silence is only perpetuating negative stereotypes about offshoring."
For additional information on Managing Offshore, visit http://www.managingoffshore.com/.
About Managing Offshore
The TechWeb Network's Managing Offshore is the first online publication targeted at solving the complex information needs of executives involved in global sourcing issues. Available by paid subscription only, Managing Offshore analyzes and provides reports on the global sourcing of services including application development, application maintenance, infrastructure, business process outsourcing, and call/contact centers. Managing Offshore provides in-depth reports on topics such as on how to find the best global locations for companies, explorations of local markets, as well as on cost-reduction and moving jobs overseas. Managing Offshore debuted in May 2004 and is published twelve times per year.
About CMP's TechWeb Network
CMP Media's TechWeb (http://www.techweb.com/) is the network for Business Technology professionals with purchasing power. With up-to-the-minute IT-related news and information, TechWeb continues assisting business technology professionals make timely, well-informed buying decisions. CMP's news and information is created and managed by a team of experienced and talented journalists that know the IT industry inside and out. TechWeb debuted in 1994 as the first online news source for IT news and information on the Web.
About CMP Media LLC
CMP Media LLC (http://www.cmp.com/) is a leading integrated media company providing essential information and marketing services to the entire technology spectrum-the builders, sellers and users of technology worldwide. Capitalizing on its editorial strength, CMP is uniquely positioned to offer marketers comprehensive, integrated media solutions tailored to meet their individual needs. Its diverse products and services include newspapers, magazines, Internet products, research, direct marketing services, education and training, trade shows and conferences, and custom publishing.
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