The National Westminster Bank admitted last month that it keeps personal information about its customers-such as their political affiliation-on computer. But now Computer Weekly reveals that a financial institution, sadly unnamed, has gone one better and moved into the realm of personal abuse.
The institution decided to mailshot 2,000 of its richest customers, inviting them to buy extra services. One of its computer programmers wrote a program to search through its databases and select its customers automatically. He tested the program with an imaginary customer called Rich Bastard.
Unfortunately, an error resulted in all 2,000 letters being addressed ‘Dear Rich Bastard’. The luckless programmer was subsequently sacked.