I have previously pointed to items addressing the issue of data quality and data aggregators, but this piece from Baseline Magazine shows a real human side of the potential consequences of bad data:
The Rising Threat from Bad Data:
"Steven Calderon had a clean record, a clean conscience and no reason to think that his new employer's routine background check would cause any problem at all. Then the sheriff showed up at the office and took him to jail on warrants for child molestation and rape.
A nightmare? Sure, but Calderon figured it was a mistake that could be cleared up pretty quickly. He'd reported the theft of his Social Security number and birth certificate in 1993, so it was obvious that the bad guy was whoever had stolen Calderon's identity.
A week later he was still in jail, a victim of bad information from data broker ChoicePoint -- and of the blind belief held by his employer, the police and everyone else involved that he was more likely to be lying than the data was...."