More than two years after a report by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that most IT jobs in the US had been outsourced to India, many workers still fear the consequences.
“The fear is that there’s a greater likelihood that there will be a loss of privacy, a loss in control,” said Daniel J. Pogue, director of the Georgetown Law Center’s Center for Privacy and Technology, who has been a vocal advocate for stronger laws around online privacy.
“When I talk to the employees, they’re very worried,” said Pogue.
“They think they are being held accountable for something that’s happening on their behalf.”
The FTC report cited a report from McKinsey & Co, which concluded that a majority of IT jobs are outsourced.
It found that India has more than 1.5 million employees, compared with more than 400,000 in the United States.
McKinsey’s report estimated that Indian companies have made more than $7 billion in outsourcing profits to India since 2006.
While McKinsey did not detail how much IT outsourcing revenue India generated, India has an estimated revenue of $3.6 billion in 2016, up from $1.9 billion in 2014.
“If McKinsey has any accurate figures, it’s going to be a lot higher,” Pogue said.
In India, India is a key hub for IT outsourcing and outsourcing is often outsourced through an outsourcing company that is not required to disclose its foreign investment deals, Pogue noted.
“There are a number of ways to do it.
You can have a company that has an Indian partner, for example,” he said.”
It’s very easy to do through a company like Tata Group that is a huge multinational that’s a big exporter of IT.”
In the US, the report found that in 2016 about 4.6 million IT jobs were outsourced globally, including nearly 4 million in the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
In Pennsylvania alone, the state has about 1,100 IT outsourcing jobs, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
In the United Kingdom, which is the country’s biggest IT exporter, about 2.5 percent of the total IT outsourcing work in the UK in 2016 was outsourced, according an analysis by data firm Statista.
That compares with 2.6 percent in India.
In a statement, a McKinsey spokesperson said the company had made “over 100 recommendations to the Government to strengthen our laws to protect the privacy of our customers and to ensure that we do not share sensitive data with third parties.”
“The UK has a strong reputation for transparency and privacy, and we have long supported such laws, including the Data Protection Act and Data Retention Act,” the spokesperson said.
“The UK is a leader in the fight against data privacy breaches, and the Government’s proposals to strengthen privacy laws in the IT sector would give companies a greater incentive to share information with customers and strengthen their reputation.”
Companies also say that they have been doing all they can to comply with the requirements of the GDPR, but many workers say that the Government is not listening.
“People think that we’re not doing our due diligence because the companies aren’t telling us,” said Sanjay Patel, a data scientist at a US tech company.
I’m not saying the companies don’t care, but I think we are getting a lot of that done, not getting enough done.”
He said he would be happy to talk to anyone at McKinsey about the issues, but he also said that if companies don´t get more transparency and follow through with their promises, it would be difficult for them to continue to do business.
“I have no confidence in companies that don’t act,” Patel said.
Patel also said he felt the Government had failed to keep up with the IT outsourcing trend.
“There’s no doubt that the IT industry has changed significantly since the last [McKinsey] report.
Companies are starting to look for new markets, especially in Asia,” he explained.”
If you look at the number of companies that are using cloud and mobile, there are hundreds of thousands of IT companies.”