back to article US woman fingered for Porky Pig drugs outrage

They say your past always catches up with you in the end - something one Sue Jones of Grand Junction, Colorado, can certainly attest. Jones got a job with grocery store chain City Market, but a background check quickly came back with a "do not hire" flag, as Colorado's 11 News explains. The reason? Multiple charges "including …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Who will background check the background checkers?

    I wonder how many people don't even make it to interviews due to shoddy background checking?

    It would have been fun to be present as she was asked if she was Porky Pig, Bugs Bunny or Elmer Fudd! I mean, seriously, how do you break that kind of news to someone - especially when it is false to start with!

  2. Anonymous Coward

    You pervert !

    Would you please stop fingering that poor lady ! Well, in public at least. Unless she likes it, I guess.

    Right, I'll be outside.

  3. cor


    .. that it wasn't true. I'd give her a job.

  4. heystoopid


    So essentially these so called background checks add just another level of stupidity and incompetence !

    "Idiocracy" has arrived !

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Happenned at my workplace too

    Someone was taken out of a training session and escorted off the premises by security after their security check returned false information.

  6. Spleen

    Sue Jones?

    If you have a name like "Sue Jones", don't the background checkers even consider that maybe someone else might share your incredibly common name?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And this is why...

    big databases like the National Identity Register are such a nightmare-in-waiting.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    fictitious "test" cases my arse

    That was a night to remember!

  9. David S
    Black Helicopters

    And this is why...

    ...we desperately need a proper national (hell, make it international) ID database, so that silly situations like this can never, ever happen again to anybody.


  10. Karim Bourouba

    @Anonymous Coward


    I didnt know that any companies would be accessing this data - so far it is widely publicised that its the government who will own and maintain this.

    Also, the related act to the scheme doesnt mention this practise?

  11. David Neil

    Not that suprising really

    It gets even worse if you have a slightly uncommon name - David Neil for instance.

    I have had all sorts of debt collectors chasing me just because someone else with the same name happened to skip from the same town as I live in leaving some utility bills unpaid - would these clowns take the hint? Took the best part of 6 months and a lawyer to get them out the way.

    On a slightly funnier note when my ex-missus was in hospital having our son, she got talking to the lady in the opposite bed. Turned out she was also having a kid by a guy called David Neil.

    Lets just say walking into the ward that afternoon was a decidedly weird experience as even the staff were drawing me daggers....

  12. Electro Boy



    If the computer says so, then it MUST be true. Computers don't lie, right?

  13. Ross Fleming

    Lessons learnt..

    Well, here's a lesson to would be parents - name your child something obscure to avoid this happening!

  14. Anthony


    I seriously hope they asked permission before making those names up. Pretty sure someone already owns them and their pictorial likenesses...

    But why go to all the trouble to involve toon names (I can't imagine anyone actually being called Porky Pig et al outside of maybe Alabama) then use a real name?

    Test cases on Cinderella, the Wicked Witch, Father Xmas and Puss in Boots are fine but substitute one of those names with your own and, outside of panto, you could be refused a job? Amusing but insane.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    @ Karim Bourouba

    Sorry, but you are sadly misinformed.

    They will sell a stripped down version to banks, credit reference agencies, credit card companies, insurance underwriters and so on and so on....

    Never mind, if you've nothing to hide and all that... as we've so often, computers are so reliable and mistakes never happen.

    ust hope you don't get beaten to a pulp and your house burnt down by an angry mob who learn off the primary school teacher you have the same name as a pedo. Of course, nothing like that will ever happen...ooops to late...

  16. Vaughan

    @Karim Bourouba

    Once they realize how over budget they are....

  17. John Imrie

    @Ross Fleming

    You could give the child a unique name by finding out what there child ID number is going to be and calling them that

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lessons learnt

    "Lessons learnt

    Well, here's a lesson to would be parents - name your child something obscure to avoid this happening!"

    It could make it worse someone might realise that there could be someone else with a common name but never think there could be several people with an unusual name.

    My name is not very common but I know of several others with identical names.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Couldn't happen here

    UK Government Standards of Data Protection don't allow the mixing of live and test data of this nature. You won't get your system accepted if you do. In fact if you follow ITIL this wouldn't be possible either.

    Assuming you follow the rules that is, and want to spend the money.

    It doesn't however prevent users creating training records with fake data on live systems. You can make thing fool proof but not damn fool proof. It's surprising the number of line managers that will show new users how to use the systems using fake data on live systems, and they aren't all in government either, Disney would probably be amazed at how many Bank, Pensions and Life Insurance accounts Micky and Donald have.


  20. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    "I didnt know that any companies would be accessing this data - so far it is widely publicised that its the government who will own and maintain this."

    It's not a fat lot of use if no one can access it, is it? And if only the Government can access it, it will save, what, a few *million* pounds a year in benefit fraud and cost a few *billion*, so the RoI is a millenium? Now that's what I call long term thinking. Oh, wait, no...

    Anyway, it'll all be up for sale on the card hackers' networks within a year of live date. Because the Government will "own and maintain" it. Just like the Child Benefit records.

  21. Karim Bourouba

    @Stu Reeves

    Hmmmm, just been reading th act for it here:

    and I dont see the part where the government will be selling a watered down version etc.

    Can you do us all a favour and point that bit out in the act itself? You must know exactly where to go to find it...

  22. Matt Hamilton

    @Ross Fleming

    "Well, here's a lesson to would be parents - name your child something obscure to avoid this happening!"

    That is what the parents of Elmer Fudrucker did.... look what happened there!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Stupid humans

    Computers don't get a chance to make mistakes, they don't make decisions, people make decisions or they are supposed to in this case people simply didn't look if it hadn't been obviously wrong she would have been fired and may never have gotten her job back it's happened at least once that I know of. I actually had a bounty hunter break into my apartment just because I had the same "first" name as person he was looking for and he had been known to be living in those apartments. He had gun pointed in my direction something I frown on but even this goon could see I am foot taller a hundred pounds heavier and have a different eye color to his intended but he still had to question me for twenty minutes to be sure. Computers aren't at fault here it's the meatware and it always will be.

  24. Ben Fairhead
    Paris Hilton

    @Ross Fleming

    On the downside having a unique name means you can be easily tracked down on facebook by weird people from your past

  25. Hein Kruger

    @Anonymous(?) Coward

    "My name is not very common"

    Now that is an unusual name!

  26. laird cummings
    Black Helicopters

    Uncommon names won't work...

    Look at my name. Seems a little off the beatten path, eh? I know of at least four other people with my name in the US alone, and all of us have strong similarities in background... Four of the five of us share shockingly similar work histories!

    Could one of us do something that would tarnish the record of us all? You betcha! Would getting it straightened out be easy? Hell no!

  27. Mark York

    Keeping up with the Joneses

    "one Sue Jones of Grand Junction, Colorado"

    Was she related to Chuck Jones perchance

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Holy shit, I'm *from* Grand Junction

    ...and this doesn't surprise me overmuch. Well, that a state employee successfully retrieved any data at all from a computer system is kind of surprising, but not the outcome.

    Keep in mind that despite Colorado's reputation for skiing and resorts, we're also the state who comes in dead-ass-last in math and science nearly every year. I think we might've beat Louisiana after Katrina, but they're back on top now.

    The Reg reporting on GJ though, that's far out. I'll be telling people all day. Shame none of them know what a URL is. ;-)

  29. Anonymous Coward

    @ Karim Bourouba

    Paragraph 12 - Provision of information for verification or otherwise with consent

    This would allow a "Tick here if you do not want to be included in the edited register" section. The edited register could then be sold on.

    This is already done with the Electoral Roll. Why on earth wouldn't they do it for the ID database?

  30. EJ

    I KNEW I should have followed that urge back in high school...

    Rather than "Smith", it would have been way cooler (and much more obscure) to be known legally as "Eric Van Halen".

  31. Andy Worth

    Computers don't lie

    Well, they don't. They rely on people to lie to them.

  32. John A Blackley


    Since the western world lost all imagination in naming its children (and since we breed like flies), mistakes over common names are more frequent. I suggest just a little more thought n the part of parents-to-be and a return to Victorian-era levels of naming quality.

    Signed (with my real name)

    Pernicious Ambrosia

  33. Gilbert Wham

    For those that haven't seen it:

    There's only one acceptable format for your kid's name.


  34. Morely Dotes

    @ Karim Bourouba

    If you believe *any* government can be trusted to do what they have promised to do, then you, my friend, have never lived in the real world.

    But tell me, which "Karim Bourouba" are you? The one who presumably owns, the one who asked a question of Dr. Math at about 08/27/99, the one who presented the short film "Les westerns de mon père", the one in the UK involved in the computer games industry, the one from, or a different "Karim Bourouba" altogether? And can you prove it? Because "Karim Bourouba" is clearly a pseudonym used by a known terrorist... Or might be, if a Government employee makes an entry in their database which *says* so.

  35. J

    Question is...

    ...will she be "Sueing" anybody because of this?

  36. b166er


    Maybe instead of General Infomation Services, they might consider Specific Information Services.

  37. Neil McAliece

    WTF ?

    What I want to know is why the hell does a grocery store need to do background checks ?

  38. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    Clean ID and NIR Databases...?

    Th... th... th... that's all folks!

    PS Wow! Name checked in El Reg :-)))

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Do unto others as they would do unto you, only do it first!

    Big Nasty Bombs are the best way to deal with these kinds of agencies!

  40. John Dougald McCallum
    Paris Hilton

    Background checks(grocery store ,for the use of)

    A real criminal record ie shoplifting more shops loose to theiving staff than to light fingered public.

  41. Swee' Pea

    Re: Lessons Learnt

    "My name is not very common but I know of several others with identical names."

    Yeah, it appears there are a lot of you. Better hope no one is doing background checks on "Anonymous Coward". Surely one of you has done something inappropriate!

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    common names can get you a beating

    Back in the good old days of the late 70's early 80's, a friend of mine got a beating by the police after being arrested and asked his name. He told the truth, "John Smith"

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