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Submission + - Data Mining errors can hurt people.

lurking_giant writes: Although I've seen few other reports of this happening, I personally witnessed the emotional distress it causes. My sister and brother-in-law had been receiving phone calls and mailings offering college placement test classes to help improve their daughter's test scores. The callers assume my niece to be a high school junior.

It's apparent they were working from data derived only from birth records, not cross referenced against any other data. It seems to me that competent data mining and cross checking of simple public records could have avoided this situation.

My niece is autistic and although she is of the appropriate age, given her developmental conditions, she will never attend college or even high school.

Instead of celebrating the marginal improvements in my niece's abilities as she grows, my family gets "innocent" calls from people that remind them of just how far behind her peers she really is.

If you work in the data mining field you need to remember how even simple failures or sin's of omission can effect others.
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Data Mining errors can hurt people.

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The absent ones are always at fault.