In some ways these stories are even worse than those Video Stories -- When Animals Attack.
At least the Animals have a good excuse, in most of the cases: they've been provoked; they're acting on instinct; they're hungry.
What excuse do the Background Creators have, when they stomp on our futures, without a care in the world?
These Database Fate-casters usually have just screwed up when crunching their complex data. Data from dozens of different databases; Data that often cannot be easily matched.
by Tom Ahearn, ESR News Editor, esrcheck.com -- January 11, 2013
The HuffingtonPost.com blog cites five stories about inaccurate background checks that include:
-- A man with information on his background check indicating he was convicted for two counts of embezzlement. A county criminal record check proved he had the same name and middle initial of the embezzler, but a different birthday.[...]
-- A woman was fired for lying on her application when a background check conducted by her employer turned up a criminal conviction of her similarly named twin brother. The woman cleared up the mistake and got her job back.
-- A woman was surprised to find out that she was “digitally dead” and unable to use her own debit cards, credit cards, and checks after mix up at a credit reporting agency.
Background checks prone to mistakes, can shut out jobs
November 20, 2012 -- USAtoday.com
Somehow, Darlene T. Martinez was confused with Darlene Foster Ramirez, who was found guilty in 2009 of dangerous-drug possession in Navajo County. The hospital rescinded the job offer, and Martinez was left scrambling to remove another person's felony from her record and find a new job.
The case highlights questions about the accuracy of background checks, which legal experts say can be filled with errors because of incomplete databases and confused identities. These errors can be difficult to fix, costing applicants job opportunities and disrupting livelihoods.
That last story really gets me, the only thing matching between Job Applicant and Convicted Person is: 'Darlene -. -a---i-ez' (where - are wildcards).
Do you think that Soundex Matching algorithm ("Sounds Like") may have a ethnic bias? How about any built-in bias for inaccurate record linking? (Contrary to popular belief, "Computers are NOT always Right" -- far from it sometimes.)
It would almost be funny, if only 'When Computers Attack' stories weren't so damn tragic -- in terms of people's careers, livelihoods, and family well-being.
I'm sure Darlene T. Martinez did nothing wrong, that warranted her being denied the Job, she desperately needed.
How many other 'Darlene -. -a---i-ez' are there out there, who get computer-branded like this (with someone else's history), and then lose the Job -- and never even find out why, they keep NOT getting the Mc'Job, time and time again?
Ever have to fight with the Credit Rating Agencies -- to "Clean up your Credit History" of their inaccuracies?
Good luck with that. I tried once. My accounts long since closed and paid off were still being listed as "currently active" and a few were even "in default" (even though, they had been "Paid in Full"). After about a year's worth of letter writing to my ancient Creditors and then duplicate copies of their replies back to TRW (now known as Experian), some of my College Loan history finally began to 'reflect reality.'
BUT ... then I was told, there were 2 other Credit Rating Agencies out there, I would have to do the same data dance with. If not I could take my chances, they might update 'their records' based on TRW updates -- OR they might not. It was up to them, and their computer algorithms.
My 'Credit History' did not belong to me. It was What they said It Was. And some decades later, I am still an apartment dweller, and not a home owner.
Well the same can now be said about our 'Personal Credibility History' -- it no longer belongs to us. It is what THEY SAY IT IS.
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It's a not-so Brave New World that we're blithely accepting. A world full of unaccountable Computer Algorithms, creating our destinies, that we might otherwise have never had.
Good Luck with that, Americans; especially if you ever have to try and correct your Been-Verified record, so that it might actually 'reflect reality.'
We are slowly becoming whatever they say we are. They got your 'Permanent Record' out there somewhere -- Shoot they created it! ... All without a guarantee of accuracy, in entire the computer-linked world.