📄 Bad software sent postal workers to jail, because no one wanted to admit it could be wrong. The program UK post office used for accounting has a bug that showed made it look like employees steal money. Lots of people paid from their own money, selling their homes, many end up in jail, one committed suicide. The post office knew about the bug but continued to accuse people.
There are lots of people to blame. In one side, the post office legal department that knew about the bug. They wouldn’t pretend that all is correct if the bug would produce direct loses for the company, not random workers. On another side, the Post Office IT department getting a software into the work without testing and additional logs, and Fujitsu engineers not investing enough into testing the system.
The thing that bothers me the most is that the problem is already solved from early-medieval times. The solution is double-entry bookkeeping. Every change in the balance is tracked by at least 2 independent sides, so if there is an error, the records will produce different results, exposing the bug. Even more, since early telecom, we have redundant encoding to detect or even correct errors. For example, Hamming code. The same story but a bit closer to IT. Even simple logging would allow to reproduce transactions and find an error in accounting. But no, we will keep shit-coding even if human lives and/or huge money depend on it.