I thought I would share this real world experience in regard to data, as it is 
somewhat humorous, but not for the people in the back seat.

Long long ago, in another country, I was a police member patrolling the 
downtown streets of a city in economic boom circumstances. There were lots and 
lots of young males from across the country in the city spending their money on 
things that too many young men spend their money on. As would be the case many 
of these young men would find themselves in the backseat of police cars all 
across the city.

As part of the process we needed to make a decision to release with a piece of 
paper OR haul down to jail.

Part of that process involved a search on the national criminal data base. We 
could have ID in front of us (i.e. Driver’s License), or they would just give 
us a name. The search would be performed based on name and date of birth. With 
frequent regularity there would be a hit of a warrant out for the person. Some 
were 50 mile radius (get out of town and don’t come back warrants from 1000 
miles away), or we want him back to face justice.

Of course we would ask - why did you lie to us. You have been in trouble, there 
are warrants for your arrest. The description matches close enough (eye colour, 
hair). Back then tattoos were not so popular so they were good identifiers. Of 
course they can be changed - so they would only give more confidence of a right 

Off to jail we would head, with our back seat occupant complaining that it is 
not him.

Check him in past the jail sgt. and away we go. We would find out after his 
finger prints were taken that he was telling the truth - it was not him.

This would happen with some regularity. In a country of (at that time of only 
24 million) I would have this happen about once a month, and there were 1100 
police in the city. 

So even data with the same name (First + Middle + Last) and same Date of Birth 
can correctly be different data when dealing with people. The records were not 
duplicates in looking at the finger print data, but back then (and even now) 
that is not something they can capture in the cars. Could they - yes but there 
are laws about taking people’s finger prints.

On a side note: 
A few years later I developed a photo ID lineup system that was rejected 
because it was written in house, and I wrote it on a Macintosh instead of 

Jody Bevan
ARGUS Productions Inc.
Argus Productions Inc. <https://www.facebook.com/ArgusProductions/>

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