and the operator suffer from chronic RSI ...
The annual report from the interception of communications commissioner Sir Paul Kennedy reveals that the number of official requests for the data tracking of individual's internet and phone use increased by 15% in the past year to 570,135 requests.
Sir Paul discloses that nearly a thousand errors – 979 – were made during such interception operations during 2012, often involving monitoring data from the wrong telephone numbers, email addresses or over the wrong time period. In about 20% of cases the internet and phone companies handed over the wrong internet and phone records to the authorities.
"In the vast majority of these cases the mistake was realised, the public authority (and the communications service provider if applicable) reported the error to my team and the data that was acquired wrongly was destroyed as it had no relevance to the investigation," Sir Paul says in his report published on Thursday.
"Regretfully in six separate cases this year, the mistake was not realised and action was taken by the police forces/law enforcement agencies on the data received,"
"All of these cases were requests for internet data. Regrettably, five of these errors had very significant consequences for six members of the public who were wrongly detained/accused of crimes as a result of the errors".
Still, even without applying the "for the greater good" maxim, that 979 is a surprisingly small "error rate" and we can of course be sure that in each of the cases of the "unfortunate 5" having realised that mistakes had been made, all the data relating to the "detentions, accusations and charges" has been completely expunged from all records relating to them, and the unfortunate mistake has not and will never see them being wrongly failed by a CRB check, or the like, or being overlooked for a job because they admit on the application that "yes, I was arrested once, but it was all a mistake .." Because as we know "nothing to hide, nothing to fear ..."