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US tells India it is mulling caps on H1Bs to deter data rules (reuters.com)
66 points by ETHisso2017 59 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 99 comments

Master Card and Visa are failing, because we have something better in place.

BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) developed by National Payments Corporation of India.

- Transferring money from one personal account to any new account (adding a beneficiary account) would take more than 4 hours.

- One needs to login each and every time to transfer money.

- There is a chance of forgetting password and account being locked on multiple tries.

- Extra charges for transferring money.

All this problems were solved by BHIM new UPI (Unified Payments Interface).

- Linking bank account with app (takes less than 1 minute)

- Transferring money doesn't have any extra charges

- No password, but 4 to 6 digit pin for transaction.

- Safe, transaction can be done only from mobile which is linked with bank.

Additional benefits,

There is no need to give personal information, one can provide UPI address or Virtual UPI address.

In Google Pay app,

If my Gmail account is xyz@gmail.com

Then my UPI would be, xyz@ok{bankname}

If my bank is SBI,Then my UPI is xyz@oksbi

Mentioning this address, anybody can make a payment or request one.

Edit: Formatting

I completely believe it. I spent two months in Hyderabad. India is WAYYY ahead on the payments game.

Every business, no matter the size, accepted mobile payments (usually PayTM, but I saw support for PhonePe, Zeta and others). The US is super behind on this; very, very, very few retailers accept Square Cash, more accept PayPal, none of them accept those payments easily. Any app that does mobile banking requires KYC verification. For mobile payments, usually support soft KYC, which you can easily fake, but only lasts 180 days. For anything else online banking related, hard (in-person) KYC was required.

Every terminal supported credit/debit cards (though using international cards was a crap-shoot, and AMEX even more so) and all of them expected Chip + PIN. People were legitimately surprised when they saw that I had to sign. Some didn't even ask for the signature because they weren't used to it.

Everything in India uses SMS OTP and requires an India phone number to receive it. This was super annoying before getting a Indian SIM card, but once I did, I realized how nice of a system this was.

There were many things about the India experience that I wasn't a fan of; paying for stuff was definitely not one of htem.

>>India is WAYYY ahead on the payments game.

Only if you(and the person receiving) can afford a smart phone, and an internet connection.

The edge US has is the cards are ubiquitous, they cost nothing to carry and use. Every one has them, and every one receiving them has the readers. Most credit unions don't charge for checking accounts, and transaction fees are $0.

US is WAYYY ahead on the payments access game.

These days owning smartphone isn't a big Deal. You can see lots of rikshaw puller, day labour, tea vendors, shop workers using smartphone. Jio data plans also played the important role in it.

Actually the way I see it, tech illiteracy is a big hurdle. A lot of people don't use smartphone because learning to operate it is too much for them.

No, owning a smart phone is still a big deal. Cheap data plans are because the richest man in India subsidized them by taking a loan he will never repay, and likely get a tax payer bailout.

Any usable smart phone is still expensive. Most people on the streets don't have chargers, or stations. If it rains they can't keep buying a new one every day.

Even more than that electronic money is still a far cry. You first need to have money.

> Only if you(and the person receiving) can afford a smart phone, and an internet connection

The number of people in India who can likely exceeds adult population of the United States :-)

Not just that but getting an account to process international card is very difficult in India and setting up recurring payments or SaaS very difficult.

I recently tried to buy Office 365 from MS India. It just kept on failing with my India debit card even though it accepts both debit/credit cards. The error message was not helpful and finally came to know from customer care that it was due to the debit card. So, it can go both ways.

Recurring payments have been intentionally blocked by the banking regulator in India by requiring 2FA for every online transaction to prevent abuse/fraud. It is a known pain intentionally traded off - hopefully will get fixed at some point.

I think the issue with international cards is also likely linked to online transaction 2FA policy. Some American banks don't implement 2FA and that's likely the reason they fail. I've never had a problem with my Singapore card.

US is always No. 1

> For anything else online banking related, hard (in-person) KYC was required.

I'm not sure what your source is on this, but I've opened the vast majority of my financial accounts without any in-person KYC, including checking, savings, debit card, credit card, and every online payment account I've ever had.

There are a bunch of banks in the US (including my primary bank) which don't have branches to even do an in-person KYC at.

There are a lot of barriers to a great p2p and p2b payment system here, but in-person KYC isn't one of them.

Just to add on:

NPCI is a not-for-profit organization which is a consortium of banks and is promoted by the Reserve Bank of India. And these guys absolutely kill it. I moved from India to the US last year and payments are overall so much more complicated here. I have to download a third party app and even my bank, at least as far as I can tell, doesn't have a straightforward mechanism to transfer money to other people without using Zelle.

NPCI came up with IMPS, which is also what UPI is partially built upon I think. IMPS worked for basically every bank and you could transfer to every other bank instantly, usually via that bank's app or website. UPI almost took it to an IM-ing money level.

Not for profit doesn't mean free from outside influences.

It also doesn't mean that there aren't a few suits at the top collecting insane salaries.

I didn't say that?

There are some exaggerations and factual errors in your claims.

> Transferring money from one personal account to any new account (adding a beneficiary account) would take more than 4 hours.

NEFT, which has been around for a long time before IMPS and UPI came, would transfer money in about an hour's time. For larger transactions, RTGS would transfer within a few minutes. I agree that UPI is a lot faster, but it comes with lower transfer limits. Four hours for a transfer through NEFT or RTGS could be extreme cases, since RBI has some tightly stipulated deadlines for credit to the receiver's account for both (you can check RBI's website for more information).

> - Transferring money doesn't have any extra charges

Well, UPI transactions do have fees, depending on the bank. IIRC Kotak introduced or was set to introduce charges for it. The rest of them would've followed, since NPCI is not a government organization (like RBI), but a private consortium of banks. But RBI's recent notification removing transaction charges for NEFT and RTGS (which are owned and run on RBI) may have given pause to banks wanting to charge for UPI.

> - Safe, transaction can be done only from mobile which is linked with bank.

The "only" needs to be removed here. UPI transactions can be done from mobile, but can also be done from any computer or device with a browser if one has online banking and the particular bank supports UPI over that.

> There is no need to give personal information, one can provide UPI address or Virtual UPI address.

Your (recipient's) real name would still be visible to the payer on the payment confirmation screen. I consider name also as personal information, if you really want to remove all real identifiers from transactions and make it seem like it's anonymous.

In recent development, RBI has issued guidelines to make IMPS free of charges to promote digital banking.

To nitpick, the underlying tech is UPI (United Payments Interface), of which BHIM is one of the interoperable apps. I see more Google Pay users. It picks my phone contacts, and even uses inaudible sounds to pair phones.

Pakistan also has such system. I have linked my bank account with my mobile phone number. I don't even have to use any app, a simple code and I can transfer money to same bank or another bank account, pay bills, recharge, all account info, mini bank statement etc and all this happens in seconds.

Also, with UPI, you don't have to add beneficiary. Money transfer is instant (although there may be limit for the amount to be transferred).

Seriously, this UPI mechanism is absolutely killer.

> Master Card and Visa are failing, because we have something better in place.

Not entirely true, India has made payments cubersome to make a transfer through visa/mc, you need to go through lengthy 3d verification even then some cards are issued with International transaction disabled and there is no way to enable it on those card without changing your card to International debit card.

There is no way to purchase anything from an international website using UPI or Rupay card or many issued debit cards.

Secondly, getting merchant services to process foreign card is not easy and this makes building SaaS in India impossible unless you happen to be among few lucky people who have American companies registered to their name.

India needs to get rid of these protectionist policies and I've no idea why America doesn't put more pressure on India to open itself up to international market, not only does it improve quality of life of people of India but also enables local people to have quality tools through which they can produce better output.

Get all quality hardware/electronics/tools gadget at the price without any import duties or taxes and local makers win.

If Indians vote for me, I remove custom duties from electronics then from machineries and finally I remove tax from food items because there is only so much a person can eat. I don't understand why food items have to have taxes.

Right now, India is trapped in hand of few politically supported corporate houses who have all power to exploit Indian resources but closed to foreign companies.

If either way people of India loose, it's better to lose with multiple options in your hand.

America can easily make India change its way, put large tarrif on software outsourcing which goes to India and demand removal of traffic placed on Chinese/American goods.

Remove that crap policy which demands you must have Indian stake in corporation before you can setup shop in India because anyone can go go America and setup shop there, so why India is some special snowflake?

Indians can't buy German tools because and they've to do with locally made shoddy tools which results in crap quality of output.

This will not change in India why? Because every major political party depends on those industrial houses for their money and won't do anything which threatens their existence.

When people ask me why Ambani is so rich, what exactly did he invent or what exactly are they do which is comparable to world class production. I tell them they are rich because India is a protectionist country.

I am not from India but living in India for quite sometime before I lived in china and before that in Europe.

I see lots of desire in Indian people to make their work and life better but all tools are made twice as expensive as a result they are stuck with low quality local options who enrich few of the industrial houses who are in bed with political parties of India.

Granted that some of the regulations are legacy but some have a utility. And what makes you think advanced countries in Europe or the US is playing a fair game. In the case of Huawei, the minute a non-western company challenges the dominance of western companies, free and fair trade goes into a shell. The rules of engagement like that of the WTO were written when countries like India and China were weak, and they were pretty much written by the west to serve themselves. Let us not even pretend it was some kind of charity. Hoping to rewrite it today and thinking that the terms might be better for the west is insane. India unlike China has a long way to go before it can stand US pressure, but bullying a potential partner like India will make the US regret a decade or two from now. Personally I like Trumpistan, I am tiered of pro-western economists literally selling the country piecemeal.

>The move, however, was not solely targeted at India, the source said.

>“The proposal is that any country that does data localization, then it (H-1B visas) would be limited to about 15% of the quota

It does sound targeted at India and perhaps China because they are the largest countries with English speaking populations and take a large percent of visas. I doubt the European countries or most other countries will be affected by this since they have way smaller populations and fewer people looking to work in the US.

Anyway I am not totally opposed to restricting new H1B visas to 15% since work based green cards are 7% max per nationality causing long delays. They just need to make sure that people waiting for green cards close to a decade while on H1B are not affected by this.

However, if this does happen, it will accelerate offshoring to India tremendously and end up benefiting work immigration friendly countries like Canada. Microsoft already has a large campus right across the border in Vancouver, and other companies will follow suit with setting up in Canada and India.

As an Indian - good! This will help the local IT industry tremendously.

Yeah, I don't see how this is bad thing for the Indian government. They can prevent brain drain. However, it's a very bad thing for Indians in the US and US employers.

More like one time elimination of bad blood, imposters and job tourists. A temporary struggle, then a gradual climb back to serious work, with serious people. It might not be at the same scale as it is now. But people will still write code.

Its also good for the freelancing/gig economy. Now even big companies will be forced to look for outsourcing or remote hiring options as the talent pool starts leaving that country.

I wonder, how much do Indians prefer emigration vs remote work? Assuming pay is equal

Even if pay is half or one third, I prefer India (saying as someone who was an h1b in US for 6.5 years). India has a lot of problems-bad infrastructure, crazy traffic, poor air, bad policing and so on. Life in India is basically like playing a game in difficult mode while US is easy mode. But the peace of mind that comes with not having to live in the uncertainty that h1b brings is insanely huge. When it comes to quality of life, while things like good air matters, the "uncertainty" seems to override pretty much everything else, at least in my case. I guess my lizard brain sees it as "US has lot of resources that will get you lot of food, but there are plenty of predators, so you must go somewhere free from those, and until you do that I am going to make you miserable". It may sound stupid, but that's how I make sense of my experience as an h1b.

Based on my rough estimates, when I compare an h1b (earning $100k in midwest per year and paying $1000 per month rent with a stay at home spouse and kids) vs the same person working in India with spouse also working (both earning ₹50-70k per month), the person in India can save more or less same. And if that person were to try in one of the good companies in big cities say Bengaluru, they most likely will save more.

Bankruptcy due to medical bills is another major concern (one of my h1b friends faced this, ended up wiping out all his savings he had from his 1+ year stay in US, and I think some of it went to collections).

Another issue is the one faced by h1b spouses, who are predominantly women. With the proposed removal of h4 work authorization (h4 means spouses of h1b), this becomes an even bigger issue considering that Indians typically have to wait anywhere from 15-20-50-150 years for the green card. Imagine being completely reliant on your spouse on a foreign country with absolutely no support. I wouldn't want to be in that situation, I don't want my wife to be in that either. One can never know when a person will change.

>Sharing her experience while interacting with the victims of domestic violence, Peshawaria said overarching their rather harrowing lives is the fear of social stigma that is particularly intense for the women who come from south Asia. More often than not, they have been told stories about how a wonderful life awaits them in America, the world's richest country, which would be a dramatic improvement for them compared to what they experience in India," she said.


And reports like below makes me suspicious of how great the immigrant life is actually. I am not saying crimes/suicides don't happen in India, but its not that reassuring since I am not sure if its murder-suicide or if they were targeted.

* June 2019-Iowa family of four found dead with gunshot wounds: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/iowa-family-four-f...

* May 2019-'Why haven't they found the killer yet?': Sikh family want answers in West Chester (quadruple) shooting: https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2019/05/08/west-cheste...

* February 2019-Friends reel from suspected murder-suicide death of Sugar Land, TX, couple: https://www.newsindiatimes.com/friends-reel-from-suspected-m...

As some one who returned from US, this is how I look at US/Outside India stay:

1. Ensure you are rich/have lot of money.

2. Ensure you are healthy.

Even if one doesn't apply to you, life can be hell outside India. This is to an extent you won't even get a shoulder to cry upon. A lot of people think they have a social structure in the US, until they have call upon on in the times of emergencies, and realize they have none. A lot of this depends on a major disease never touching you, and having life long 20% YoY career growth. You have to be lucky beyond belief to fit into this definition, this is regardless of how hard you can or are working.

The problem with this luck game is, no one is lucky enough to be lucky forever. Most people who settle in the US are really having tons of luck going for them in early life. That's the good news. The bad news, is if you plan to toss a coin a billion times, and a straight 10K heads have shown up. Guess what a straight 10K tails are coming sooner or later.

Go figure.

Isn't there a burgeoning Indian community though ?

Most of it won't come to your help. You would be hard pressed to call upon a close friend.

In most cases its colleagues who graduate to being friends. But those generally wither away when you change companies. Others are made at community centers, they are mostly like frenemies.

If you plan to settle in the US, ensure you don't get poor and stay healthy.

Based on PPP calculations and the current USD-INR exchange rate, a third of the salary is roughly equal in terms of purchasing power, and half could be a substantial pay hike.

Source: http://salaryconverter.nigelb.me which uses world bank numbers.

Thanks for the link.

When I typed "Even if pay is half or one third", I actually was thinking of savings. I am past the edit window now. But please read it as "Even if the money I can save is half or one third".

> Bankruptcy due to medical bills is another major concern

I thought most of the people on H1b have good insurances to make sure this is not the case.

I was working for an Indian IT company back then. According to my colleague, they offered really good health insurance (I never pay attention to such things, so don't know how good it was compared to others). I got a dental cleaning and wisdom tooth removal done once, and had to pay $2200 from my pocket since insurance didn't cover those. The dentist told me before the treatment itself, and so wasn't a surprise. Another time, I ended up having to go to a hospital couple of times for an issue. Total bill was around $20k. I had to pay only $50 from my pocket. After I came back to India, I got another letter in my US address from the hospital (nearly 1.5 years after the hospital visit). I suspect it could be another bill. I knew about the letter because I still get the USPS informed delivery email alerts!

My friend also worked for an Indian company. His wife had a delivery and there were complications. I am not sure what really happened. He one day called me and told me to have some money ready (around $2-3k) in case he needs to borrow. He said he had to pay a lot of money from his pocket, and that he reached the maximum limit (after which insurance pays everything?). He was in US for around 1 year, and left soon after because the project was over or ramped down. Just before he left, he got another bill for $3 or $4k and he said he is letting it go to collections. After he came back to India, I asked him about it and he said it was taken care off (didn't say if insurance paid or he paid or he ignored it).

Considering IT hubs like Bangalore[1] and Chennai[2] are running out of water, most prefer emigration.

[1]https://www.news18.com/news/india/on-verge-of-acute-water-cr... [2]https://www.livemint.com/industry/infotech/work-from-home-re...

They are not going to run out of water. I was born and raised in Bangalore, Have been in places around Bangalore all life. And water struggles have been forever.

Bangalore has water infrastructure problems, not water shortages. We will fix them in time, like we always have.

I have to agree. The problem is not rainfall. There is plenty of water. Indeed it is expected that global warming will result in greater rainfall not less. The problem is infrastructure. That is a matter of time and money. It will get solved.

Chennai got decent rain today after 196 days. Good rain is expected for 6 more days


Remote Work!

Reason for storing financial data within the country is, because in India corruption rate is high and no.of tax paying citizens are very less.

Indeed it is important for us to store financial data within the country to stop non tax abiding citizens.

Money laundering is also a huge problem. Citizens were being educated, not to take cash in large amounts, for the same reason.

Even after demonetization, government was not able to get rid of black money.

Edit: grammar

How would requiring information be stored in the country prevent corruption?

Countries can already demand any business records of their citizens from a business as a condition of doing business in that country or citizens.

The US requires that any fin business that does business with US Citizens report to the United States government or be cut off from the US financial system. A lot of international banks responded by closing the accounts of Americans rather than deal with the costs of compliance.

I don't know much about this topic (finance). But since I see news reports regularly of Indians depositing black money in foreign banks, I am posting this. I am not really sure if this 'financial data must stay in India' requirement could solve the problem of black money.

>The total amount of black money deposited in foreign banks by Indians is unknown. Some reports claim a total of US$1.06 - $1.4 trillions is held illegally in Switzerland. Other reports, including those reported by the Swiss Bankers Association and the Government of Switzerland, claim these reports are false and fabricated, and the total amount held in all Swiss bank accounts by citizens of India is about US$2 billion. In March 2018, it was revealed that the amount of Indian black money currently present in Swiss and other offshore banks is estimated to be ₹90 lakh crores or US$1500 billion.


Getting Switzerland to release that information isn't that easy. I have been hearing about it for at least 5 years, may be more. Even 4 days ago, there were reports like this: https://www.businesstoday.in/current/economy-politics/noose-...

Exactly. The US seems to be opposed to India having more control over its own financial system.

The efficacy of this as a deterrent seems to depend on the notion that India would like its citizens to be able to obtain H1 visas from the US.

Is that the case?

India would very much like the USD remittances that these people usually send to folks back home in India. India has been riding on foreign inflow of money for quite sometime. I don't know the share of remittances from the US vs. other countries (like the Middle Eastern Gulf countries), but the lack of more remittances over time from the US may not hurt India much, but losing it wouldn't be nice either.

Remittance from the US to India make up about 0.02% of the total GDP. UAE is at the top with $13.8 billion, US at second place with $11.7 billion, Saudi at third with $11.2 billion.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remittances_to_India [2] https://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&...

Yes and no.

Yes, because it directly affects the business of large outsourcing companies. It also drops remittances, one of the largest sources of dollars for India.

No, because for many decades, India has been trying to keep their smartest citizens to build their own country. Making local companies, serving at local hospitals, teaching at local schools and universities. They want their own Google, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Adobe instead of Indian citizens working in the US for US corporations. They were just unsuccessful for so many years because countries like US drained the well-educated so much.

Ultimately, this will be a great deal for India. India doesn't want remittances. They want their own companies to make software that the world wants to buy.

Putting arbitrary caps on visas isn't a great way to do this though. A lot of startups in India are founded & staffed by Indian folks who got their experience, capital and connections working in the US.

True, any barriers to trade are bad for both parties. India will suffer more from this. And the Indian government almost certainly would not want those caps. But it is a misconception to assume that successful Indian startups were founded by folks who got their experience in business in the US. Indeed the most successful Indian business founders are entirely home grown: (See Infosys, Tata, Flipkart -- sold to Walmart now). I say this despite being one of these who got their experience working the US on an h1b, and then came back to India to start a business. The experience abroad was useful. It certainly broadened my horizons. But frankly, I don't think it made a whole lot of difference to my becoming an entrepreneur in India.

Tell that to Trump. He can't see a win-win when it stares at him.

I think you misunderstood the parent comment. Putting caps on H1B visas isn’t a good way for India to stimulate it’s own startup ecosystem, because the claim is that many Founders are returning to India after a stint with H1B.

Capping H1B is classic Trump and threatening to cap it based on complaisance with a particular pro-US policy goal, doubly so.

Fundamentally, Trump believes America has tremendous amounts of value that it “gives away” too freely to competing countries in terms of access to our education, employment, and markets (visas and trade). He’s willing to leverage the value of cheap visas and cheap trade to obtain foreign policy goals.

> Capping H1B is classic Trump and threatening to cap it based on complaisance with a particular pro-US policy goal, doubly so.

I get this. But what Trump fails to grasp is that our own ecosystem in the US relies heavily on sucking MIT, Harvard, Stanford level people from other countries. Stopping that is a boon for other countries who not only have their own smart people starting companies locally but also have fewer American companies competing in general since America hemorrhaged that innovation ecosystem.

Help me understand the first part. Why do you need a US visa (well, THAT visa - I understand a 'fly over for a meeting' visiting visa) as an outsourcing company?

What I mean is: How are the outsourcing companies affected by this?

Its a business visa to allow exchange of ideas quicker, better.

Imagine GE, a company with a pool of power electronics talent in the US, wants to build specialized power plants for the Indian market. They can't do it remotely from the US. They will fly their US employees to India to study the market, understand rules and constraints, design and consult local Indian teams. The US employees need to stay there for years to build those things.

All that requires India to give US citizens the visa to work for such a long time. And India does give that. Business visas in India are easy to get.

Reverse the roles and if an Indian company wants to use their own pool of talent to do business in the US, H-1b are the only ones available for long term business related work, which got totally distorted by politics over the years.


Then why doesn't India restrict inflow of US citizens in return?

Isn't this what the L1 visa is for? I don't see anyone discussing that in this thread.


>L-1 visas are available to employees of an international company with offices in both the United States and abroad. The visa allows such foreign workers to relocate to the corporation's US office after having worked abroad for the company for at least one continuous year within the previous three prior to admission in the US. The US and non-US employers must be related in one of four ways: parent and subsidiary; branch and headquarters; sister companies owned by a mutual parent; or "affiliates" owned by the same or people in approximately the same percentages.[2]

Although when I look at the top companies utilizing them, you see it is Tata.

Still, it's separate from the H1 and not subject to the H1 cap.

Many if not most outsourcing gigs require some people on the ground in the US to drum up new business, liaise with the customer, fulfill compliance requirements ("work must be done in US"), etc.

Our outsourced front end team has 6 people in India and one person in the US to provide management/coordination. As we are getting more offshore folks we will also be getting another onshore person from India.

A lot of these companies routinely send workers 'onsite' to US offices.

Likewise, many employees at big cos who are actually 'vendors' are employees of outsourcing companies working at offices located in America.

Yeah, but as it was pointed out -- it could be done by a 6 month visit visa and still the payment comes through at the site in India. So technically the employee could be working for the outsourced outlet and there should be no requirement of a work visa.

Pretty sure that’s illegal.

Not a lawyer but apparently the term "B1 in lieu of H1" exists and is mentioned by more-or-less reputable lawyers on the web.

There is no 'Indian ecosystem' - there is an Anglo-American one in Indian flavour. That's not much to work for - a cheap fake.

I wouldn't think India would be much deterred by the move. Those workers represent a very small drop in a very large bucket. An extra 50,000 Indian workers seeking work in India instead of the US (or in some other non-US country) is practically nothing.

On paper it sounds like a good idea. Limit brain drain, keep the high achievers in India.

But in practice, it's not that simple. US businesses do well largely because our market is not nearly as corrupted by politics the way things are in India. Chinese companies do well because the communist party cracks down on corruption with brutal force. But in India? Corruption is how work is done. There are real stability issues at play and they manifest themselves even in the elite companies and institutions. This is the same country that almost sank its own nuclear submarine because someone left a hatch open...

So yeah, it sounds nice to keep Indian workers in India, but without a political landscape that is stable enough to support something like an Indian Silicon Valley and earn the trust of investors, there's no guarantee they will offset the loss of US remittances on the current H1B workers.

Could go either way (more or less). So probably

if free flow of data across countries helps in privacy then HIPAA should not have rule that healthcare data of US citizens need not be stored only in US. Will USGOV relax that norm ? the Indian govt rules are about storing financial data within the country and not gmail data.

There's so much wrong with this.

HIPAA doesn't talk about US citizens or distinguish different types of records based on any properties of the people that those records cover. The words citizen do not appear in HIPAA or HITECH. HIPAA applies to any records by covered entities, which is what it discusses, regardless of who those records refer to.

There is no requirement in HIPAA that PII must be stored in the US. This is such basic info it's in the HIPAA FAQ from HHS https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/c.... Question 9 is unequivocal, you can store data outside of the US, but you need to think about any dangers or risks associated with this. Which is totally logical.

There are lots of reasons to have issues with the US. But not what you're talking about.

Huh. Why did they not include communication (Gmail) data?

lol. If you don't change your data rules, we'll shoot ourselves in the foot by removing the cheap labor that we've become addicted to.

It would be a good thing in the long term. Too many programming jobs are taken up by things like this, especially jobs for fresh college grads. I wouldn't mind harsh limitations on all software offshoring/worker importing in general.

Right, because college grads in STEM fields are just really struggling to get good high paying jobs right now.

RAND corporation found that the H1B program reduced tech worker's salary by 9%.

Took me a while to get an offer out of college even with an internship of experience, years of volunteer coding contributions, etc. And got some absurd offers in the range of 30k before finding a real one.

There are no (talented) fresh college grads who are having trouble finding programming jobs. The whole "they took our jobs" fallacy is just that: a fallacy.

Look for some of the negative posts from posters on the cscareerquestions subreddit. This is an attitude of someone either living in Silicon Valley or just repeating what they've heard.

Edit: Here's two people, OP and the comment. https://www.reddit.com/r/cscareerquestions/comments/bpj0m2/i...

Getting hired as a new grad is hell - it's impossible to make a resume any two people can agree is presentable enough, 1/500 postings respond to you, the employment gap out of college grows and grows, and student loan repayments loom around the corner, making you wonder if you'll have to get some McDonalds job just to pay them once they enter repayment.

If you don't let us steal all your user data, we won't brain drain your country. Sounds like a good deal for India other than the remittances sent back by citizens.

This was pretty much how I read it.

Except that the rulers have relatives and neighbors whose sons and daughters are desperate to leave India. India has long stopped caring about Brain-Drain (well, they'll rot there for the most part), so this is likely to be a big issue.

The Problem is TRADE not H1B visas . ...

Simple example every Enterprise level company has IT department in US. the CTO or the VP of the company wants to save money by going to offshore business model ... so how does this work, let say an infrastructure IT support in company consists of ( storage, database, network , System admins etc say about 150 employees) then a new CTO or VP of IT comes in and he decides to go for offshore model then enters the cheap low tech incompetent service companies from Asia bids these projects here .. let say 200 Million dollars for 5 years 24/7 support .. so these Body shopping company decides to have about 60 employees offshore and 10 employees onshore here in USA using H1b visa ... now the CTO of the company feels happy for saving money and starts firing ..sorry (Let go) of those 150 citizens..... this happens in every company across this country i know because I've seen it All..

now those employees who given their flesh and blood to those projects over years gets emotionally raged...at the time of KT( knowledge transfer) to those H1B onshore slaves.. saying you guys are taking our jobs away. and all that BS. BUT they forget One big Logic/common sense..that they lost their jobs because satanic .. crooked CTO's or VP of IT of their own company and due to the company it self .... not because immigrant came over H1B visa..

Let say for the argument of emotional mob .. that the H1b is completely removed by some revolution...do you really think the jobs will come back hahaha... those body-shopping companies will be more happy because that will give them a chance to make more money.. they will make 100% offshore and then they wont even keep those 10 h1b resources onshore.. they will make a deal with those crooked CTOs to operate everything from offshore ...so the emotional mob will be still unemployed even after H1B is removed ..

the solution is the current administration should bring up the trade barriers a Bill to stop offshore business model completely which they wont do since this country is built and run by Rich CEOs.......

Pompeo said the Trump administration would push for free flow of data across borders, not just to help U.S. companies but also to secure consumers’ privacy.

How does 'free flow of data across borders' help secure consumers' privacy?

Setting caps on H1Bs is the US governments prerogative though this will have adverse impact on US-India relationship.

> How does 'free flow of data across borders' help secure consumers' privacy?

This is not about consumer privacy. This is about corporate profit. Visa, Mastercard and other US banks want to maintain fewer datacenters around the world. They already have them in the US (because US law) and they possibly also feed that data to US govt.

With such localization laws, US corporations are having to invest in other countries. They are lobbying to bully other countries for profit and this administration is ready to support profits at any cost.

Maintaining foreign data centers isn't really an issue for large companies. All cloud providers already support various data residency and compliance requirements. Companies are happy to follow these laws if it means more business for them.

It is the US government which has a problem because it wants direct access to data from foreign countries & corporations. In fact Microsoft was involved in a very long legal battle with them over it - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Corp._v._United_Stat....

In this context, let me mention one point. India does not yet have a data privacy law (it relies on some interpretations of the IT Act). So people's data may be better protected by laws in other countries that have such laws (regardless of how comprehensive they are) than if the data were to reside in India.

The co-founder of Paytm (the CEO's brother) has been caught on video saying that it can provide all its customers' information in exchange for money. Oyo Rooms decided to funnel all hotel guest information to local police directly regardless of whether there was a crime or not and if the police requested for some data or not. There are many such instances where data privacy is not valued at all.

Yes, I agree that India sorely needs comprehensive data protection laws. IIRC the IT rules act only concerns with sensitive personal information which includes bank accounts/cards. Though I'm not sure if individual transactions are covered under this.

Given that MasterCard & Visa are only intermediary's between Indian companies and banks, Indian companies(PayTM, PayU, CCAvenue) already have access to all available data as the one who've initiated the transaction. In fact MasterCard/Visa processing the data outside the US actually increases the exposure of data and no amount of US data protection laws will help.

Instead of worrying about location of the servers, the real point should be which government should be in control of the data. Even if the data is located in India under US government pressure on a company, say for some investigation, the US would still be access the data; the companies can still sell the data to other US-based companies.

Or, is location being used metaphorically over here?

Perhaps. But you still have oversight and physical access. You could bug the servers. You could monitor their network and so on. Your courts could create orders against the data on your servers. Also it's very dangerous as we have seen to have all your citizen's data exposed as it could allow like a country to better socially engineer your public and determine outcomes of elections.

I would double down and say if you do that, I will ban all H1Bs from leaving the country. Let's see how Trump and Silicon Valley feels about that.

> You could bug the servers. You could monitor their network and so ... determine outcomes of elections

This is again irrespective of the server's locations.

More Americans travel to India on business than Indians seeking H1-Bs.

If the US wants to limit work visas to Indians, India should limit any work based travel of Americans to India.

This is a joke? You realize work visas are different from travel visas, right?

Bit of an empty threat. Probably hurts America more than India.


> America ... supported the genocide of millions of people 1972 just to spite India.

Mind expanding on that? How did the genocide in Africa by Africans have much to do with either of those countries?

Bangladesh. Nixon sent an aircraft carrier group to prevent India from helping them gain independence from Pakistan. During the crisis, the Pakistani military, whose high command was mostly Punjabi, engaged in what was arguably state-sanctioned mass murder and rape against Bengalis.

I'm guessing 1971, the Bangladesh/Pakistan split and war.


It may be a little exaggerated (or not, depending on who you ask), but I think they're referring to the 1971 Bangladesh genocide. The US was largely complicit on this due to their favorable foreign policy towards Pakistan at that time.


This is quite a silly threat as it would reduce brain drain. Cool, go ahead, keep smart Indians in India while also not spying on Indian citizens because their data is also kept in India. Win-win for India.

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