Wiping out the Alaska Permanent Fund Account

I missed this one last week while traveling, but I’m glad I finally caught it:

Oops! Technician’s error wipes out data for state fund – CNN.com

Perhaps you’ve experienced that sinking feeling when a single keystroke accidentally destroys hours of work. Now imagine wiping out a disk drive containing an account worth $38 billion.

That’s what happened to a computer technician reformatting a disk drive at the Alaska Department of Revenue. While doing routine maintenance work, the technician accidentally deleted applicant information for an oil-funded account — one of Alaska residents’ biggest perks — and mistakenly reformatted the backup drive, as well.

There was still hope, until the department discovered its third line of defense had failed: backup tapes were unreadable.

People LIVE for the checks they receive from the state every fall.

Another good reason to have paper backups. I wonder if any lessons can be learned here that are relevant to, say, voting?

3 thoughts on “Wiping out the Alaska Permanent Fund Account”

  1. Although this doesn’t apply to the voting argument, I think that the stupidity of the people involved with the data loss would no different with paper: they would have just burned it all.

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