Thursday

Fighting Car Crime with Ireland's Criminal Database

For all us who worry about all this personal data that is being stored on computers to help fight crime - a rather silly but telling story.

A story of how the police in the Irish republic tracked down the worst driver in the country. This dangerous felon was called Prawo Jazdy and every policeman in the Republic was searching for him. He had speeding fines, parking tickets all sorts of driving offences and all over the country. This reckless chap was driving like a maniac everywhere and the Garda's finest policemen where hot on his trail.

Except they couldn't find him until one policeman decided to do some detective work and rather worryingly discovered that 'Prawo Jazdy' was actually the Polish for driving licence. Slowly the penny dropped.

The reason they hadn't found this madman was he didn't actually exist, policemen had been reading the driving licence incorrectly and inputting Prawo Jazdy as the drivers name.

On further investigation the computer system had record of 50 other Prawo Jazdys who had committed various felonies.

Very funny but also rather ironic, data stored on computers can be very misleading.

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