House of IT Horrors

By Deborah Rothberg  |  Posted 10-27-2006

Ghosts and goblins, haunted houses, and smashed pumpkins—sometimes the most harrowing horrors are only steps away from your cubicle or office.

Just ask Steven Calderon.

Calderon was in his second week working as security guard for Fry's Electronics when Anaheim, Calif., police walked in and arrested him for crimes including child molestation and rape.

Fry's had requested a background check on Calderon, which was done by The Screening Network, a service of ChoicePoint, the $1 billion-a-year data broker based in Alpharetta, Ga. When it came up with criminal warrants and felony charges, nobody—not Fry's, not the police—stopped to ask if the data supplied by ChoicePoint was accurate.

Calderon spent a week in jail for crimes he didn't commit because an identity theft report he'd filed in Norwalk, Calif., in 1993 wasn't connected with the criminal files that were created in his name.

He went to jail for an IT error.

While, fortunately, not all IT disasters are of these cataclysmic proportions, every weathered IT professional has an all-too-real eerie tale about a day when everything went wrong. Even 10 and 50 years later, these pros retell their horror stories with a startling sharpness, more haunting than ghost stories.

Read the full story on eWeek: House of IT Horrors