Sunday, May 21, 2006

Yet another reason to oppose ID cards: Innocent people branded criminals on government database

Reuters reports that:
The [UK] government, already under pressure over a series of blunders in its immigration and prison services, has confirmed it wrongly branded around 1,500 innocent people as criminals due to a computer mix-up.

It said the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), which carries out checks on people who have applied for jobs working with children or vulnerable adults, had confused the innocent people with convicted criminals because they had similar or identical names.

The names were stored on a police database.
Bear in mind that these are just the mistakes we know about: the people who were persistent or lucky enough to establish the truth. How many other people have had their reputations and careers ruined because of government incompetence? And the official response to this outrage? Apologies? Vows that it will never happen again? Far from it:
"We make no apology for erring on the side of caution. We are talking about the protection of children and vulnerable adults," a Home Office spokesman said.
There you have it. Far from being sorry, the government feels that it is appropriate to ruin the lives of the innocent. Exactly how branding innocent people as criminals protects children is left to the imagination of the reader.

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