RentACoder Privacy Breach

By Deane Barker on February 9, 2004

Government agency exposes day-care data: RentACoder lands right in the thick of this one.

Two separate databases with personal information about children and their families were exposed. In one case, a list of children in the county’s low-income day-care program was intentionally posted for download on Jan. 22 to a Web site used by computer programmers to hire temporary help. Another database, listing families participating in the county’s foster care program, was posted to the same Web site in November. Both remained on the site, free for anyone to download, until they were removed Thursday.

The site in question was RentACoder, which we’ve talked about before. Apparently a subcontrator was having a problem with one of the tables, and thought nothing of posting a zipped copy of the database to a RentACoder forum. Sadly, the database contained information on the routines and whereabouts of hundreds of low-income New York children. Ugly.

For the record, it wasn’t so much RentACoder’s fault, but they’re still in the thick of it according to the article. This can’t be good for publicity. Via Slashdot.



  1. Hi, My name is Amir Ali Tayyab and I was operating as “aatayyab” on as a member only for two months with top10 ratings there by my 5 projects within that short span. And then I was struck with a bad surprise by a non-professional buyer, unfair arbitration by a arbitrator and owner of in my last project where I suffered these losses;

    1. they confiscated my rightful money to be paid by the buyer and returned it back to him. The buyer name is [deleted] and he was operating as [deleted] buyer on . This buyer had 10 arbitrations out of his total 40 which he always won with 10 different coders. Hence a sense of favorism towards buyers is clearly visible and this buyer always used such an unfair favorism to deceive and rip off many coders of their rightful money like myself and run away with completed projects under the protection of “deceptive” existence of fraudulent internet websites like

    2. they appointed an arbitrator [deleted] to resolve my issue with the buyer, but he took sides of the buyer and turned down all of my requests for professional testing/arbitration.

    3. they rated me as MINUS THREE on their website in that specific project and;

    4. they deducted money from my own account as a penalty

    5. they issued me warnings to withhold my own money left in my account if i did not stop pursuing it legally.

    I protested all this to owner of, [deleted], but he too took unfair side of his arbitrator and the buyer. Before signing up with, I was deceived into believing them due to their display of memberships by and . Now, I have started the complaint process not only at these websites but with all legal authorities of their territories and warning general public against using such a deceptive website like or working in any way with [deleted], [deleted], and [deleted].

    I am based in Pakistan and I was ripped off my rightful money by these persons and website via internet who are located in USA.

    I will keep you all posted about the developments taking place to prosecute such internet fraud. I have met a few of the coders who feel the same way and I plan to gather all such evidence and legally fighting such fraudulent websites or persons. I have all the emails and project data online at and attached herewith for your detailed review.

    Amir Ali Tayyab [contact info deleted]

  2. Hi,

    I am Sameer from India.

    I thought I would recieve money from RAC after I did 3 jobs totalling to US$455. But I received no cheques.

    When I complained to RAC, they lamented about poor mailing system in India. They said that in some minor cities mailing system is not good.

    But then I am living in Indian capital ‘New Delhi’??? How can it be true that mailing system is not good in the capital itself? They stopped responding. One thing to notice is that my father who lives in village receives mail from New York from my brother without single problem!

    They advised me some other type of arrangements to be used for receiving money. Notably ‘these’ arrangements give RAC much more cut then simple plain cheque. They have even turned Western Union option off saying that they have legal problems with them. Western Union is a large money transferer in Indian subcontinent.

    What I think actually happening is that lots of coders from India, Pakistan and Brazil earn lots of money. But RAC never sends them any money and makes one or other excuse.

    Something is really going on. Someone must do something about it.

  3. Hi

    I did a few jobs on and i chose Bank-to-Bank wire transfer for payments. On one occassion rentacoder goofed up (that was the excuse give by them) by entering some wrong info during bank transfer and i didn’t receive any payment. I had to really fight hard to get my money and rentacoder had to relent.

    Once one of my buyers told me that rentacoder cheats people by saying that the governments of certain countries including india don’t allow payments through Western Union. Thats totally B*S.

    And saying that the Postal System to small cities in india is not good – total LIE – THE POSTAL SYSTEM IN INDIA IS ONE OF THE BEST IN THE WORLD (BETTER THAN THE US) – A snail mail is guaranteed to reach any part of india within 1 week. If you’re living in a remote hamlet in the desert then u get ur mail or money order delivered on camel back!!! or if ur deep down in the jungle then a half-naked tribal postman delivers on foot! – THATS HOW THE POSTAL SYSTEM IN INDIA WORKS – ON TRUST – and to point a finger at such a system – i can only laugh as it exposes the TRUTH!

    I wonder how else they cheat the poor guys from other countries.

    Do post more on this

    An Indian

  4. Hi, i m form india and the funny thing is tht westorn union office is just 2 minutes away from my home.lots of ppl transffer money from USA.i cant understand why RAC claiming it as illegle? regards,

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