TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Common Sense Moves Could Protect Privacy

Re: Common Sense Moves Could Protect Privacy
24 May 2005 08:52:23 -0700

Monty Solomon wrote:

> Wachovia Corp., and Bank of America Corp. say they have notified
> more th an 100,000 customers that their accounts and personal
> information may be at risk after former bank employees allegedly
> sold account numbers and balances to a man who then sold them to
> data collection agencies. Nine people have been arrested in New
> Jersey in the case.

At one time bank employees were held to be pillars of the community.
They were treated as professionals and acted as professionals. It was
rare to have one go bad.

Even big city banks tended to be community oriented operations. Most
employees intermixed in person with the customers they served.

Further, banks had elaborate systems of accounting and auditing

Unfortunately, today many accounting controls are gone. The people
who loaded up an ATM every day kept whatever cash was left over
because no one bothered to audit it, for example.

Also, banks today are huge anonymous empires. Many employees work in
"boiler rooms", under pressure to sell profitable new banking products
like stocks and insurance yet meet a tough quota of customers served
per day. The computer watches every transaction and break.

These modern employees, often dealing with disgruntled customers over
the phone, have little incentive to be loyal. Thus, there is greater
temptation, esp when the theft is of non-cash items. (Most of us
would not pry open a vending machine to steal a candy bar, but if the
vending machine malfunctioned and served it for free, nobody would pay
for it. The man who services the machines where I work found that out
the hard way.)

Cash and money can be audited and controlled. Secret information like
personal records can be lifted easily.

I don't think much of these 'boiler room' customer service operations.
As a customer, I find them maddeningly frustrating to deal with.

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