From the U.K. comes a story that highlights just how quick and ruthless the consequences can be of a tiny data error in this interconnected world:
The Telegraph reported the British High Court has found government agency Companies House was liable for the demise of engineering firm Taylor & Sons Ltd, after they wrongly recorded that the Welsh company had been wound up.
in 2009 Companies House confused Taylor & Sons Ltd with Taylor & Son Ltd, a completely different company that had gone into liquidation.
When it realised its mistake three days later, Companies House tried to correct it but it was too late.
Taylor & Sons Ltd co-owner and managing director Philip Davison-Sebry told the Telegraph Companies House had already sold the false information to the credit reference agencies.
“We lost all our credibility as all our suppliers thought we were in liquidation,” he said.
“It was like a snowball effect.”
Within just three weeks Taylor & Sons’ 3000 suppliers terminated their orders.
The company is a family run business that was established in 1875 but within two months of the error it had gone into administration.
Also, and presumably unintentionally, demonstrating why Douglas Adams found British bureaucracy such a fertile source of inspiration.