For some eight years, 82-year-old Rose and 83-year-old Walter Martin have heard police knocking at their front door in a mistaken search for criminals, says a story in the New York Daily News.
The Daily News says that the couple's address was used to test a New York police department-wide computer system in 2002. Their address was supposed to be purged from the system, but it never was. After the couple complained in 2007, their address was again supposedly purged, but by then their address had migrated into other police systems as one where criminals may be hanging out.
Why the couple's address was used in the 2002 test wasn't explained, nor what exactly the test was.
Mayor Michael Bloombergapologized to the couple saying it was "a shame" that it had happened and promised that it won't ever happen again.
The couple are reported to be skeptical.
They have good reason to be, I think.
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.