Software bugs that helped send innocent postal employees to prison known in advance

Another grim case of how (faulty) software and algorithms can impact real people’s everyday lives in specific workplaces:

Ars Technica writes that “Fujitsu software bugs that helped send innocent postal employees to prison in the UK were known “right from the very start of deployment,” [according to] a Fujitsu executive [during] a public inquiry”.

From 1999 onwards, the accounting software called Horizon was installed in UK post offices by a Fujitsu subsidiary. Since then, between 1999 – 2015, this software has led to the “prosecution and conviction of more than 900 sub-postmasters and postmistresses who were accused of theft or fraud when the software wrongly made it appear that money was missing from their branches”.

The Fujitsu executive now says that bugs in the software had been known from the outset. A lawyer representing victims asked the key question: “Did nobody historically make that pretty obvious connection between very poor code going out into operation and then very poor data coming out and through the litigation support service?”

Full article on Ars Technica >>

Leave a Reply